A Sensitive High Rise City-Building

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Estudio Matias Sambarino Architect 仿生态学设计,最大限度地提高可用空间,减小污染和能源消耗,提高土地利用价值。

设计事务所提供的项目简介:

A bio-integrated-concentrated model – prototype, with applicability in temperate and sunny areas.

It was in the 1920s that the most influential concepts in the Architecture of the last century were vigorously developed. They were also, undoubtedly, the most prominent. The basic points were the simplicity of the shape efficient use of space, employment of materials recently developed, design elementariness and effectiveness of the constructive procedures to make possible an unlimited repetition through industrial production, together with an assessment accentuated in mechanically functional aspects of Architecture and equipment designs.

Mies Van Der Rohe glass skyscraper became, over time, the icon of the era. With his impressive imprint which made it particularly suitable for representative purposes, maximizing the usable space through the free plant, cleaning of the facade enabled through the elimination of structural elements attached to it, the central layout of their circulation areas, the possibility of mechanical repetition of its constructive elements that made it particularly suitable for the modes of production which were intended to develop, added to the speculative interest to increase the value of land use by multiplying the area of the base on the height, turned into a successful formula of building production, developed throughout the period, to greater or lesser scale, that framed the entire city and Architecture of the 20th century, repeating itself in any city of this world.

At that time, none of the major problems we faced today were raised, with the magnitude that afflict us today, or with the persistence of its constant, and it would seem inevitable escalation, or with the difficulty of an increasingly arduous solution. The destruction of ecosystems by the advance of man was not an issue that merited attention. Energy consumption was not a matter of worries. Even less was environmental pollution inside and outside of the human habitat. At that time, issues were related to the problems of the overcrowded urban environment and in that context these were discussed.

So the proposals were based on concepts we today can understand as harmful. A formula of identical building development repetition, with the simple and only intention of producing more and more quickly. Models that disregarded energy consumption. Giant extensions for city development. Huge public spaces converted into unlivable monuments to concrete. There is no doubt that the success of the glass skyscraper is due to the fact that it was suitable for the way of thinking, feeling, and producing of the century. Abstract simplification and universal value. Unlimited development and rampant production.

But it is also true that soon after they started building it, it began to show its limitations. Not all programs were adapted to their maximum postulates. The aesthetic claim to absolute immutability of the shape that had even prevented movement of windows and trusted the ventilation and air conditioning to central electromechanical devices, made it particularly unsuitable for housing programs, simply because the people did not stand it. In order to be accepted as housing projects substantial changes should be implemented, in counterpart with the office buildings where it proved to be suitable. The base/height ratio and the pre disposition of centralized service areas implied a section which made impossible for the development of housing with great vertical height, unless it used lesser reduced elementary base shapes than the square or the circle, as floors in cross or angle. Excessive openness and exposure didn’t help.

The housing buildings went on, despite maintaining certain similar characteristics, to show differences with the more representative model. The concepts of vertical centralized services, repetition of plants and independent facade, was maintained, while lower and less exposed. Unlike models in height destined for offices, the space was less flexible as it included the design of dwellings, in disparity with the free plant promoted and resolutely effective of the first one. In both cases there was an underlying benefit, if we look at it from today’s perspective, which is, its ability to concentrate.

However, given the divergence in height of models destined for both programs, as well as other causes of urban order, including that the centers of the cities were destined to administrative uses while the surroundings were consecrate to housing, their concentration power was not reflected in the facts. Was given the paradox that, while the building density grew exponentially in the nuclei, population density went down concomitantly in them.

At the same time the last one grew in the surroundings but, even so, the urban desconcentration, measured as urban area per capita, exhibited a growth tendency, not divergent with the already shown trend in previous centuries. One of the greatest benefits of the model, globally and actually, was left aside.

Despite of the above mentioned, the skyscraper had multiple hits. Among the positive aspects we can mention its iconic value, simplicity and economy of construction, modular flexibility, adaptation to commercialspeculative purposes that transformed them into the preferred piece of private development, with some theoretical thermal efficiency due to its concentration of area that involve a reduced envelope/volume ratio, although real thermal deficiency due to their inability to interrelate efficiently with the environment and, and above all things, population concentration capacity.

It also had failures. The lack of possibilities of social interaction is one of them. The users, whether they were inhabitants or clerks, were unknown among themselves. Possible interrelation areas were reduced to the elevator and the hall, since the spaces destined for housing or office were independent cells. And the first were thought so that people pass through them as quickly as possible and so they were sized and conditioned to that end, while accepting that it also had a business justification: circulatory areas had lower added value. The lack of flexibility of the housing programs is another one, since the housing typologies were included and lacked possible change or, ultimately, the ability to change was minimal. But there is no doubt the two biggest problems, due to its global impact, are the lack of actual realization of its capacity of population concentration and its absolute inefficiency, or rather, energy deficiency.

As we have said, their use did not produce a change in the history trend of urban growth per capita area, while their proliferation did not induce any reduction of the energy consumption, also measured per capita, but instead, it soared exponentially throughout the 20th century. This energy deficiency, appreciated in their internal behavior, also warns about the negative climate impact than the building generates in its immediate surroundings. It radiates heat in summer, while it adds cold in winter.

We cannot fail to note that these features of Modern Architecture are still in play today, despite the fact that the world has changed diametrically. Buildings are still being built in the same way. They remain highly energy inefficient even although the energy problem has crystallized rapidly. They have tried to alleviate difficulties of social interaction derivatives in different ways with uneven results, but in what refers to the model itself, it continues with the same shortcomings. The increase in urban area per capita continues. The area of the city is still sub utilized while living conditions have changed. The state of the city has improved, meanwhile general pollution has increased, and if we add the environmental stress, we can assess the urban atmosphere, unfortunately, as worse than at the beginning of the 20th century.

 

设计事务所 Estudio Matias Sambarino Architect
项目建筑师 Matias Sambarino
面积 90x105x276 m

 

 

 

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地点: 乌拉圭