052-1102-21L  Architectural Design V-IX: Quinten - Architecture From an Understanding of Space (G.A.Caminada)

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersG. A. Caminada
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentPlease register (www.mystudies.ethz.ch) only after the internal enrolment for the design classes (see http://www.einschreibung.arch.ethz.ch/design.php).

Project grading at semester end is based on the list of enrolments on 2.4.21, 24:00 h (valuation date) only.
Ultimate deadline to unsubscribe or enroll for the studio is 2.4.21, 24:00 h.

AbstractWe would like to examine the most important elements in creating a strong sense of place. We design architecture in selected locations in Quinten, aiming to create a house that both reflects today's knowledge and the features and conditions unique to its location.
ObjectiveArchitecture requires a fine perception of what already exists and a courageous design for what is to come. As a basic prerequisite for both moments, we consider a sustainable attitude to be developed from the lifeworld collective. The aim of the course is to strengthen the sensitivity for such an attitude. At the same time the skills should be learned to make this attitude effective. Dealing with the immediate reality of construction and material plays a key role here.
ContentQuinten is a small community on Lake Walen. The villagers see the functionality and thus the viability of the village as endangered in the long term. The necessary village size to guarantee an independent existence is unrealistic. The federalist principle in Switzerland has set itself the goal of preserving settlement even in places that have fallen below a critical limit for a functioning place. The proximity to urban space continues to promise economic advantages. Villages like Quinten suddenly get a boost from the changed perspectives from other camps. The ecological threat to our environment and a global pandemic have changed our view of living space. For places like Quinten, the question arises: isn't the physical distance to the urban and its apparent otherness the most important potential? In this paradigm shift, the question is not about the quantity (number of inhabitants) but about the quality (sensitivity) of the change. What could a development look like that guarantees an existence outside the purely rational?

Some social and cultural scientists are calling for a new understanding of space due to the ecological consequences. In architecture, this requirement immediately leads to the question of the relationship between space and place. How do we think of creating conditions for good places in space? As residents of the room, we are part of an undefined area. It is limitless, an interweaving of different worlds. In order to be able to act, we have to scale the space in smaller units. The territory of our work and thus our responsibility is thus determined. Only this clarity enables responsibility and, in the best case, ends with meanings and values. That's where the place is.

Within the process of understanding space, it is important to know the entities or substances of the limited space - existing and expected. The entities in Quinten are the mild climate, the constantly changing wind, the distinctive topography made up of lake and mountain, the special vegetation, the limited accessibility and others. These politically activated entities are different in the agglomeration of Zurich than in Quinten. By grasping the properties of these different entities, we take care of the space in which we expand. When developing smaller units within the larger unit, we are cosmopolitan and local actors at the same time. Remaining in a self-sufficient world would be just as disastrous as merely looking at the global. The space is given, it is not yet a place. In space you act politically, in place sensually.

In a new understanding of space, it must succeed in bringing politics, spatial planning, economy, tourism, craft and architecture together into a conglomerate, keeping them in balance and aligning them with a common goal. The development must be controlled from within, from close by, not through strategies and universal concepts from a great altitude. Then we approach a (new) culture of space.

Full Program: caminada.arch.ethz.ch
Prerequisites / NoticeIndividual work only.
Mid-term crits: Dates will follow
Costs: CHF 100.--.