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Living on the surface : the artificial nature of the city

Manuel Depetris

Living on the surface : the artificial nature of the city.

Rel. Francesca Frassoldati, Gustavo Ambrosini, Mauro Berta. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2017



According to our common background about environmental and social changings is impossible for us to keep the idea of a static landscape of the city where we live, without any variation operated by social, urban and environmental issues. It’s mandatory to have a vision focused on the adaptability of the landscape, from the bigger grid of the city, until the district scale in which social attractors rule on everything.

This thesis is based on the existing masterplan of Quianhai Bay designed by James Comer Field Operation (JCFO) in 2010. As mentioned in the first booklet, the site is settled on an artificial land that we can assume as our starting point. James Comer designed the urban grid creating different districts with residential, commercial or public destination of use; this grid is alternated by five water fingers, which can be considered as the breaking elements since they are the only components that, in a certain way, interrupt the building carpet rolled out over this land.

My leading objective is to create a relation between the two sides of the finger which we have received as our design site. My design approach is based on working on water wetlands where residences, offices or public spaces can rise as a bridge from the two separate districts.

Initially, concerning our site situation, the first question, that I asked myself, concerned how should we relate to the problem of uncertainty during the design phase and if it was necessary to think about unpredictable events (good or bad) that most likely could occur. The milestone is therefore the concept of change, the change is something that helps us understanding the happening of the things.

The idea of uncertainty, in architecture, can be divided into two main branches: social and natural uncertainty. According to the opinion of many researchers, the answer, for both issues, is the level of the adaptability of the architecture product in itself. The changes in this process are not only about shape, but are also concerning time and costs.

In my work, I tried to produce a masterplan that has to be seen as an implementation of Comer’s scheme; I’m in favour of its relationship with natural (artificial) landscape and its commingling of different functions, but there are few failings that come up according to what we developed during the exchange workshop. The lacking elements are, following my estimation, the decreasing of the relationship between the infrastructure and the nature and between the users and the nature; this nature that is, in general terms, an artificial creation that attempts to appeal to the popular imagination of the flora and its wildlife.

My early intention is therefore to give to actual masterplan an implementation of urban texture in order to make the transitio area, from the water until the dense inner p of the city more homogeneous as we can. 1 key element is to bring in this central part the district a social hub, a market square, put space, accessible by the inhabitants of the c and by the people arriving from the water al as an entrance for people and goods. These sot connections, these social spots, will be therefi overlapped to the infrastructure that has to implemented in order to create a stop and i only a mere passageway.

This analysis wants to show finally how t differences in term of density (inside and outside the finger) or in term of functions can be to answer in a rigid case of organisation of t masterplan where in reality the uncertainty I really high potential, because of the site place ai also for the reason that nor the buildings, nort finger are built yet.

Relators: Francesca Frassoldati, Gustavo Ambrosini, Mauro Berta
Publication type: Printed
Subjects: A Architettura > AO Design
U Urbanistica > UB Architettura del Paesaggio
U Urbanistica > UK Pianificazione urbana
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/6211

1 Fundamentals of the project

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Key concept of the design activity

1.2.1 Uncertainty in architecture

1.2.2 Living on the surface Density issue

1.2.3 Infrastructural spaces

2 Design Phase

2.1 The project

2.2 Relationship with water

2.2.1 Levels

2.2.2 Wetlands

2.2.3 Docking point

2.3 Infrastructure, public and common spaces

2.3.1 Natural elements

2.3.2 Market square

2.4 Residential Buildings

2.4.1 Low density residences

2.4.2 High density residences

3 Conclusion

3.1 Final Considerations




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