052-1138-21L  Architectural Design V-IX: Building Communities: Rehabilitation and Housing in Zurich (GD Prats)

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersE. Prats Güerre
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
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 2nd April 2021, 24:00 h. This is the ultimate deadline to unsubscribe or enroll for the studio!

AbstractTalking about building communities we think about a new community built within the city that exists, inviting new neighbours to interact with those who already live there. We propose to work in urban contexts in transformation, observing/identifying the valuable social/physical qualities embedded in the area and testing its capacity to be expanded/amplified as a basis to create a new urban chapter
Objective1. To recognize the qualities of the built fabric. The exercise will focus in recuperating existing urban structures by occupying them with new activities. Therefore, a key aspect will be to observe carefully its physical and spatial qualities, beyond the use for which they were built.

2. Assess collective housing with its ability to generate community. Taking this aspect into account will allow the design of meeting and social areas, understanding the community as the place that will help its members to gain confidence.

3. To intensify the city. Considering collective housing as an activator, an intensifier of the city and trusting in its capacity of adaptation, this program will be incorporated into existing urban systems in order to prevent social exclusion and be absorbed into the actual dynamics of the city.

4. The limits of the project. Define the area of influence of the project, its scale, limits and position, always in relation to the conditions that we find and that we want to care. The quality of the future project is implicit both on the selection of a working area and the way of occupying it.

5. To understand the project as research. The studio investigates and questions on the basis of the design, considering this as a research and experimentation tool to recognize the limits and possibilities of the material with which we work.

6. Intermediate spaces. Study which are the limits of housing, considered not only as the area that is within the house itself, but in the sequence of spaces that joins it with the city.

7. The typology is always specific. Housing typology and its variations are always linked to the urban, social and historical form of the urban context in which it is inserted. Understand the ability of variation of the housing typologies according to urban, solar or social orientation, the size and relationship with the common spaces, is the basis of the project of collective housing which creates community.
ContentWhen we talk about building communities, we are thinking about a new community built within the city that exists, inviting new neighbours to interact with those who already live there. We propose to work in urban contexts in transformation, observing and identifying the valuable social and physical qualities embedded in the area, and testing its capacity to be expanded and amplified as the basis to create a new urban chapter.

We understand urban rehabilitation as the balance between the recovery of a physical fabric and a social fabric: both complement each other and work at the same time. To work with the social fabric of a neighbourhood is to observe and incorporate the memory of hundreds of civic, cultural or personal relationships that the neighbourhood had built over time, and still remain invisible but latent. But not only people contain the memory of a neighbourhood; the buildings are also loaded with memories of the uses of the place: the built fabric is the reflection of a social behaviour. It speaks of a way of using the ground, the sky, of a way of inhabiting... To read the memory contained in buildings and in people is to think about a future that counts on that past.

After spending last semester in Kreis 5, exploring the Neugasse-Areal around the Lokomotivdepot, we will now cross the Gleisfeld to reach Kreis 4, where our working area is situated along the train tracks.
Prerequisites / NoticeIndividual work and group work, whereof at least 5 weeks of group work.
Mid-term crits: 30.3., 4./5.5.;
No extra costs.