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Competition for ideas // 2012

Agency : Hatem +D Architecture

Competition : Past Forward, Think Space

Program : Redesign the Blur Building of Renfro & Scofidio

Localization : Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

This cycle of competitions aims to hold a mirror to the discipline to reflect the changes of the last thirty years by re-visiting three competitions that radically transformed architectural culture: The Peak (1982), Yokohama Port Terminal (1994) and Blur Building (1999). All three winning entries emerged under unique conditions to take up critical positions on the predominant tendencies of their time. Though they have radically different ambitions, these three projects continue to reverberate throughout contemporary architectural culture in some way, introducing new attitudes to the ground, surface and atmosphere.

Any current condition lacks coherency and the task of this competition is not to assert one, but to begin the work of constructing a passage between the indistinct and the articulated. This competition cycle aims to discover new possibilities in the recent history of architecture by returning to these singular moments of disciplinary transformation, looking back in order to discern how far we have moved and in what direction.Think Space

Inlandsis // Redisign the Blur Building


What will happen if sea levels rise?

Will people retreat inland, or will they go out to sea and explore new opportunities? Climate change tends to be regarded as having a negative impact on our lives. While the effects of climate change are hard to imagine, our entire planet will undeniably have to face new realities, and we might have to adapt to new environments. INLANDSIS proposes a contemporary collage of urban elements. The design forms public and private spaces, islands within the town, streets, dwellings and bridges. Each urban component would eventually float and anchor itself to a neighboring component.

Main Board

In time, many structures would be converted into floating units. The new urban settlement reflects the social and environmental events affecting our daily lives. INLANDSIS simply form a "mothership" consisting of all its arks. They would eventually drift through the lake like an iceberg populated by a small community on a quest for urban peace.

These floating units are artificial island containing gardens, saunas, walkway, exhibition areas and public spaces. By constructing a habitable landscape on the lake, the project examines the element of water as a possible design surface for the construction of floating environments. It questions what kind of architectural form can be found as a structure on a water surface. The project also investigates how an amorphous architecture with faceted surfaces can create an exterior landscape of artificial hills and valleys. The interior would thereby assume the counter form of the constructed landscape. As the visitor strolls from space to space, he experiences a sequence of baths, panoramic saunas, treatment rooms and relaxation areas. From the within, the windows frame the landscape and provide access to outdoor terraces and pools. From the terrace, paths continue over the hills and through the valleys connecting different spaces through the landscape. Those who walk here would see a combination of water, plants and architecture, which would gratify their human desire for a world that is concrete and tangible.

Essential to this project, where interior and exterior, landscape and architecture all meld into one, is the creation of a floating sustainable biotope constructed using recycled material. The project rectifies the disconnection between the natural and artificial datum of the ground as an attempt to utilize infrastructure as an interdependent element, which shifts and unifies the urban fabric.

Cross section

The INLANDSIS can be combined to form bridges connecting one side of the harbor to the other to form individual clusters, intimate urban fabrics. We propose to recycle the current structures along the existing waterfront and reconfigure them into small floating ice sheet. The living space become possible links between the arks and define new spaces for playing and socializing. The climate changes call for both challenges and opportunities. This scenario has led the project to reimagine infrastructure as an opportunity to ground the underground. By using the existing banks as a new urban ground, the project reclaims new soil. Our urban strategy begins with utilizing the existing topography surrounding the lake to explode it. The project provides an opportunity to challenge architecture against the fear of scale and using the ground in effecting programmatic, infrastructural and social transformations in relation to this constantly changing landscape.

INLANDSIS is a vision designed to address the current harbor situation. It sets a possible course for future development within the context of Global Warming.

Main Board
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