Roman Imprints in Contemporary London

Architecture, Roman Imprints

Final design and research thesis, MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments, The Bartlett, 2018

Since its beginning in the 1st century AD up to the present day the City of London has been subject to constant change and alterations. While its city layout is a heterogeneous and dense urban carpet today, the City’s main structure proved to be a robust antagonist to iterative destruction horizons occurring during the last two millennia. This research and design project investigates the historical components provoking changes within the original Roman city layout and successive alteration towards its contemporary condition by asking the question: How do its Roman origins manifest in the contemporary urban layout of the City of London?

The methods applied to this thesis resemble two archaeological techniques: The stratigraphic excavation – a method where one layer after the other is removed – is applied to the horizontal urban survey. The quadrant excavation, which defines a certain orthogonal area in order to vertically survey all cut through layers. It is applied to the in-depth research and design part of this thesis.

Every layer of information gathered can be located within a vertical diagram as well as three-dimensional space. Finally, with the connection of the historic layers to time, a fourth component is added to the scheme. Due to the complexity of the assemblage of all layers underneath the ground in the course of different periods of time, it is one of the aims of this thesis to make the evolutionary factors of the contemporary City visible in three physical models.

 

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Massawa: In Fragments

Architecture, Massawa: In Fragments

Design project in cooperation with the Asmara Heritage Project, Eritrea, MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments, The Bartlett, 2018

Massawa, the “Pearl of the Red Sea“, is a city of ruins. Over 500 years of capricious history have been absorbed by the island’s urban landscape: Turkish colonialism, Egyptian rule, Italian takeover, earthquakes and Eritrea’s war for independence left traces in Massawa’s built enviornment. What remains of the city today can be regarded as an archive of Eritrean history. More occupied than inhabited by only a hand full of people, its empty houses and plazas tell great stories of passed times. It is the aim of this project to complement the historic fabric of Massawa in an unobtrusive way in order to turn it into a place worth living in again. At this, the city’s historical density is understood as an opportunity for raising awareness and pride for the Eritrean identity. All elements introduced by this project are designed as an immanent part of Massawa. Alike its ruins, these elements are generated out of its place and will be transforming back into it over time. Therefore, the half- nished, half-eroded state of the city should not be regarded as an exceptional condition, but much more as what Massawa‘s architecture historically expresses: gradual growth, change and decay.

 

 

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La Cañada Real

Architecture, La Cañada Real, Research

Final design and research project (MArch), in cooperation with Madrid’s environment department Consegerìa de medio ambiente

Once a thriving transhumance the Cañada Real Galiana in the outskirts of Madrid has transformed its appearance. The cattle drive of about 70 metres width has increasingly been built on from both sides towards the middle of the path since the sixties of the last century and is one of today ́s biggest illegal European settlements. The research, analysis and design project highlights this interesting settlement with uncontrolled growth and thus underlines an urban development scarcely known in today’s Europe. Three architectural and urban designs emphasise developmental possibilities of the 13 kilometres long informal settlement that undoubtedly will soon be assimilated by Spain’s capital city.

„It is paradoxical that current terminology uses “informal” to refer to a condition that both is more prevalent now and was more common in the past; in comparison, the formal system seems relatively rudimentary.“

 

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A Village Centre for Blaindorf

A Village Centre for Blaindorf, Architecture

In cooperation with the community of Feistritztal, design project, Kunstuniversität Linz, 2015

In terms of expansion Blaindorf is the largest village within the community of Feistritztal in Styria. The settlement structure is characterised by urban sprawl, which is one of the reasons the local community has been facing difficulties in generating a town centre for years. Important infrastructural buildings, such as a restaurant, the school and the fire brigade are located at the village‘s external borders.  This design project tries to reintroduce the village centre of Blaindorf by successively compacting the settlement‘s central structure. The reintroduction of lost facilities, such as grocery, a bakery, a café and a kindergarten are as important for this process as it is to question the true identity of Blaindorf itself.
Since the mayority of Blaindorf‘s inhabitants work in the agricultural sector, which is typical of this region in Styria, it seems useful to establish an agricultural centre for the whole region as part of the village‘s new nucleus. This multifunctunal building can be used for advanced training, scientific research (e.g. the greatest variety of beetle species of central europe) and exhibitions as well as local events or meetings. It symbolises the opportunity of a new perspective and change within the heart of the village.

 

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The Wall as a Living Room

Architecture, The Wall as a Living Room

Neues Stadtquartier, design project, Kunstuniversität Linz, 2015

 

The space generated from the contrast of the massive wall and the light and airy room, the contrast of light and shadow, forest glade and cave allows its inhabitant to retreat or to be in an extrovert space. Every apartment within this building complex is equipped with a protective back, the „wall“. This wall contains not only the resident‘s intimate rooms – such as a bathroom and an alcove for sleeping – but serves also as a supply line for the whole unit. The massive cave-like rooms inside the wall are opposed to the airy living rooms of wooden light-weight construction docked to the concrete structure. These rooms are higher, lighter and bigger in their dimensions than the compact caves inside the wall. It is their task to provide all “public“ functions of daily live, such as working, eating and social gatherings.

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Archive of the Flotsam

Architecture, Archive of the Flotsam

An archive made of bricks: situated in Copenhagen, design project in cooperation with Wienerberger Ziegelwerke, Kunstuniversität Linz, 2014

What is thrown into the ocean, can soon be found and collected as pieces of fotsam along the coastline. Streams and tides are defining the movement of countless oating items that have long ago turned into left overs, ejected from – and by – human society. It is similar to a new way of globalisation. A globalisation far off refugee routes and boarders. Washed up and exposed to a permanent current, the Archive of the Flotsam has carved into the coastline. It has turned into fotsam itself. The archive‘s outer appearence is equivalent to a massive cube made of bricks. The building‘s centre is formed by its treasured goods: the archive, a construction made of steel grating, full of nets with tons of fotsam in them. Like a cage that has just been pulled out of the flood, this smaller steel cube is floating inside the building‘s massive walls above a huge saltwater pond. In order to provide the archive with supporting rooms, the sourrounding brickwalls are hollowed out.

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Pueblos Calleros

Architecture, Pueblos Calleros
Design project „Ribbon-Built Villages“: Prototypical Houses for the Ecuadorian Costal Region, 2013/14
1st prize, Blue Award 2016

www.blueaward.at

“Pueblos Calleros” organises housing along highly frequented infrastructural routes leading towards areas of high population density. The project’s main objective lies in reaching greater spacial and social density by providing both interior rooms and private exterior space within one building, multiplied by personalised variations within the whole settlement structure. The combination of long-lasting materials such as reinforced concrete and easily renewable, locally available material such as bamboo unfold new possibilities for a building tradition that has been facing a severe decrease over the last decades. Whilst purely bamboo-built houses are lacking privacy for its inhabitants and are easily broken into or destroyed by fire, their earthquake security as well as ecological and atmospheric environmental performance is remarkable. By applying bamboo-building materials in a beneficial way to a robust settlement structure of concrete and brick, a lasting and highly flexible system is generated.

STEP 1: The community provides a property of suffcient dimension along the road.
STEP 2: Base and walls of concrete and brick are constructed by the community and sold/ leased to settlers and future inhabitants.
STEP 3: The inhabitants construct their bamboo house inside the structure, using prefabricated joints and openings in the wall and base to fix their bamboo-columns and the roof(s).
STEP 4: At last only the walls made of split-bamboo are missing. These mats are attached to columns and walls, resembling textiles or even skin.

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