052-0544-21L  Architectural Design IV: What's in Store? (T.Emerson)

SemesterFrühjahrssemester 2021
DozierendeT. Emerson, D. Mettler, A. Spiro, E. Christ, T. Crowther, C. Gantenbein, D. Studer
Periodizitätjährlich wiederkehrende Veranstaltung
LehrspracheDeutsch (Vorlesung), Deutsch (Übung), Englisch (Übung)
KommentarPlease register (www.mystudies.ethz.ch) only after the internal enrolment for the design classes (see http://www.einschreibung.arch.ethz.ch/design.php).
Students who do not wish to change the design class don't have to parcitipate in the internal enrolment.

Project grading at semester end is based on the list of enrolments on 2nd April 2021, 24:00 h (valuation date) only. Deleting or enrolling after the aforementioned date is prohibited!


KurzbeschreibungThe provocation that ‘shopping is over’ which opened last semester HS20 has turned out be truer than imagined. Department stores are falling around the world. We will consider a future for the legendary Zurich department store Jelmoli. Not because it is failing, but because of its continued success.
LernzielCritical thinking, personal attitude:
-Demonstrate, through design work, a critical understanding of climate change and the ethical responsibilities of the architect
-Reflect on pieces of work in progress or already completed both individually and in conversation with peers and faculty
-Demonstrate, through design work, a growing knowledge of contemporary and historical architectural discourse
-Critically interpret requirements and working priorities in light of constraints to work practice arising from Covid and home working. Communicate with teaching team if difficulties arise.

Working methodology:
-Conduct qualitative site/building analysis through photography and observational drawing
-Perform basic topographic surveying
-Use archives to conduct systematic analysis into social history, uses, materials, etc.
-Interpret and synthesize information into a concise and ongoing knowledge base for the design of a project
-Develop an understanding of the geology, climate, ecology, etc. of a place
-Assimilate small, fragmentary observations into broad understanding of place

Acquisition of subject-specific knowledge:
-Consider and understand the relationship and impact of a design on a wider landscape
-Understand the impacts of construction on ecology
-Demonstrate an understanding of the impacts of time on the repair and maintenance of a project
-Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary and historical construction techniques
-Demonstrate a critical understanding of the use of materials in relation to non-renewable resources, embodied energy, recyclability

Conversion of a conceptual intention into an architectural project:
-Develop an integrated and relevant structural, constructional and environmental concept for the project
-Formulate a spatial concept for a project, demonstrating an understanding of conceptual, spatial and programmatic decisions
-Design with reference to historical, political, cultural and other creative and technical fields
-Demonstrate an ability to assimilate a broad range of working practices, identifying and engaging especially with those which help to demonstrate and further your ideas

Capability to design:
-Demonstrate an ability to design interior and exterior spaces, as well as the thresholds and the surrounding spaces
-Demonstrate awareness of a design project’s environmental performance in construction and in use
-Demonstrate a good understanding of professional regulation and ethical responsibilities of the architect
-Design buildings, spaces and landscapes which are fully accessible

Representation and presentation in different media:
-Develop a critical eye in photography of place, space and design work with reference to broad photographic traditions
-Develop model making skills of small conceptual models (carved and cast for the Atlas and design working models made of everyday household materials with precise conceptual purpose
-Demonstrate high technical and critical proficiency in 2D and 3D CAD drafting and modelling
-Develop an understanding of the status and purpose of different kinds of representation, and deploy them effectively
-Use detailed drawings and models to illustrate the constructional concept of a project
-Demonstrate high technical and critical proficiency in image making and collage
- Clearly and concisely describe a concept, working practice, and outcome through written and oral material in English or German.
-Explore use of film and short film clips to present three-dimensional work. Note, advanced editing skills is not required.

Engagement in the studio:
-Actively participate in group projects such as the garden
-Actively listen to others
-Be able to learn alone, as part of a group and as a whole studio
-Demonstrate an ability to work comfortably with ambiguity as circumstances change
-At all times demonstrate honesty, integrity and respect for fellow students, teachers and staff.
InhaltWhen an ancient tree falls in a closed canopy forest, far from being the end of life, light enters the dark space, “mixing new nutrients into the soil from debris, and initiating a race for succession.” [1] The old tree simply and naturally makes space for the new. This universal cycle, which is as much spatial as it is biological, may explain at least in part, the fascination for ruins in the modern era. In the nineteenth century Romantic imagination, the ruin showed architecture at its most pure, freed from the burdens of complex function, at one with nature. But today such processes may be more than nostalgia, they may just be the beginning of another age.

The provocation that ‘shopping is over’ which opened last semester HS20 has turned out be truer than imagined. Department stores are falling around the world. We will consider a future for the legendary Zurich department store Jelmoli. Not because it is failing, but because of its continued success. Jelmoli’s evolution has not only witnessed the emergence of metropolitan Zurich, it has participated and even anticipated many of the urban and social transformations which are once again pressing in our own time.

The future department store lies within the existing walls if only it were allowed to diversify naturally. We need to shift our attention towards what already exists, to be attentive to architecture, materials and techniques which have given us the spaces of everyday life. Today’s new reality requires us to look more closely, to document, to excavate, to release new spaces in existing fabric and breathe new life into the city. Each stone block, steel column, sheet of glass, plasterboard partition has been placed in space according to the rules and needs of its time. The architecture, reimagined as an Atlas which can be edited, cut, thinned, renewed with the precision of the architect and the care of a gardener.

The porosity of the city is central to its ecological recovery. New species of plants, insects and mammals are rediscovering habitats in the unseen corners of the city. Perhaps now is the moment to welcome them into the heart of things by looking at urban development in reverse. But not a return towards origins per se, but to acknowledge that the world is cyclical and after the growth comes decay followed by recycling in order to grow back stronger, more diverse and resilient.

But as much as this question may be about the future of cities and the culture of retail, we shall approach the project by direct means of architecture. We shall initiate a series of simple constructional operations on the site of Jelmoli at Seidenhof; the first is to record what is there through the act of surveying; measuring, photographing and drawing what we see. The second will be to excavate material from the sealed city fabric (like the ancient tree falling in the forest) to create or recreate new spaces for new ecologies. And the final stage will be to re-inhabit the excavated city to propose the future of retail that contributes to the human and non-human ecologies of the city.

We shall initiate a series of simple constructional operations on the site of Jelmoli at Seidenhof; the first is to record what is there through the act of surveying; measuring, photographing and drawing what we see. The second will be to excavate material from the sealed city fabric (like the ancient tree falling in the forest) to create or recreate new spaces for new ecologies. And the final stage will be to re-inhabit the excavated city to propose the future of retail that contributes to the human and non-human ecologies of the city.

[1] S Denizen, The Flora of Bombed Areas (an allegorical key), The Botanical City, M Gandy and S Jasper (eds), Jovis, 2020, pp 40.
SkriptAtlas
The act of surveying will be expanded by what cannot be seen but can be deduced from archives documents and social histories. And what is neither visible in the place or contained in records can be induced by speculation into and beyond the walls of Jelmoli. The materials extractions and transformations that constitute the built and the supply chains interacting with social habits to constitute its uses. And finally, the traces that bear witness to the passage of time.

Excavation
With the Atlas, we shall ask you to excavate the built fabric of Seidenhof; to introduce spaces for an enlarged and more diverse environment. By stripping away layers of construction or cutting segments, we will ask you to open the city block for re-inhabitation. The new spaces may be invented from within the city block or simply rediscovered from its evolution. Their potential lies in how they will extend the range of environments for human and non-human users and in the re-use of the materials produced in the process.

Inhabitation
With the Seidenhof opened for earth, light water and air to play their natural role, you will design the next layer of re-inhabitation by Jelmoli. How can the future department store be model for a botanical city? How can the interaction of environments respond to the social, ecological and commercial needs of the city? And most importantly, what how will architecture and construction find the form and expression that connects the past with most pressing issues of tomorrow?
LiteraturEssential Texts

Ms. Consumer. The making of public space.
Chuihua Judy Chung. 2000
in: Harvard Design Guide to Shopping. p. 504-525

The science of the concrete.
Claude Levi Strauss. 1962
Chapter one in: The savage Mind.

The Ruin
Mark Pimlott. 2016
in: The Public Interior as Idea and Project.

Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary
Eva Horn. 2016

Dasgupta Review: Nature’s value must be at the heart of economics.
Fred Lewsey. University of Cambridge. 2021



Extended Reading

Garden as Theater as Museum
Dan Graham. 1993
in: Rock my Religion

Congestion Without Matter. Parc de la Villette. Paris. France. Competition 1982
OMA. Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau. 1995
in: SMLXL

Collision City and the Politics of ‘Bricolage’
Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter. 1978
in: Collage City



Book recommendation BUK I - IV: "Construction";
A reference work on contemporary construction
German or English
360 pages, 171 images, 20 color images, texts
ISBN 978-3-0356-2225-6
Online reference source: https://www.hochparterre-buecher.ch/ Konstruktions.html