New Relational Spaces _ Paula Melâneo
Traditional models for cities’ public spaces–as the street, the square or the boulevard–are no longer enough or are completely obsolete in their use. Planners cannot continue to think the public space within the symbolic, typological and morphological logic. In contemporary urban societies differences between local and global are fading away, fostered by the new communication methods and technologies that are transforming urban life and space appropriation. Consequently, contemporary urban public demands from public spaces a renovated mobility and from buildings a different dynamic – new answers are needed as new citizenship relations are emerging.
This lead us to ask which functions should public space assume today and how can it respond to new needs and patterns of use, as an always-available space for action? And how can urban planners and architects create design strategies for that, tracing configurations for new and existing public spaces, in the contemporary city?
Included in larger masterplans or acting individually, the analyzed buildings have an important role in the perception of the public space. They can be references or landmarks, define or activate new uses, harmonize relations with the surroundings or mediate the proximity between the population and the promoters or organizations.
Minor Works _ Alison Killing
Most people have a clear idea of what they want from a workspace. Of course this will vary according to the type of work, but their wish list is likely to include appropriate lighting and acoustics and a certain amount of either privacy or openness to the outside world. The eight workspaces featured here are mostly surrounded by other functions. They range from a study space in a residential studio, to the offices of public buildings and their architects have approached the privacy and openness issue in a number of ways. They pose a number of questions: to what extent does the office need to be separated from the other functions of the building for work to take place there effectively? How far should it be cordoned off from the outside world? And what is the best way to do that? These eight recently completed small workspaces each has their own perspective on these questions.
Virtuous Urban Pieces
Virtuous Urban Pieces _ Simone Corda
Nowadays talking about urban development inevitably involves themes related to privately owned public spaces. In this definition can be grouped several examples, from simulacra in the “Generic City” described by Rem Koolhaas to more sophisticated urban assembles like the Sliced Porosity Block by Steven Holl Architects and the NEO Bankside by Rogers Stirk Harbour+Partners. In the last two cases, the architects’ main challenge was to find the right role for their buildings into the city and, at the same time, articulate the project elements in a way that they can be significant at the smallest scale. Achieving such a goal through the use of towers, quintessential isolating typology, shows the exceptionality of these architectures. To multi-scale/system architecture and high rise typology, accessibility and micro-urbanism must be added as complementary keywords to interpret these type of works.
These characteristics qualify not only these examples but also the housing and living in the contemporary conurbations when they are remarkable and effective, and set themselves as strategic points for a city that looks toward the future.