Anna Andronova, University College London (UCL), Bartlett School of Architecture, London, United Kingdom & Kazan State University of Architecture & Engineering, Kazan, Russia
My LafargeHolcim Next Generation Award winning project “Liquid Era” speculated on digital futures through integration with natural environment in Kazan, Russia. Urban climatology and hydrology dissertation studies in the Bartlett School gave me more in-depth insight on how these complex natural processes are working. Two years after my graduation, our city authorities show particular interest in development of Volga adjacent project areas in collaboration with my university; and as I come back to start practicing, I am accepting the challenge.
Site offers opportunities to do an unconventional project with the new digital tools on board: it inherits a unique hydrology of Kuybyshev Reservoir, the largest in Europe and vast obsolete infrastructure. My objective is to propose a resilient and sustainable waterscape, able to overcome predicted stress conditions through improved water management, integrating with regional healthcare complex. However, there is always limited funding for the research stage, which is essential in such ambitious intention.
In my vision, production should go beyond just built environment: not materialize an object as such, but materialize its performance. Architecture may remain “liquid”: rainbows, fog, frost, gravity, shadows and data will be my primary materials. Water in architecture will be explored in its full cycle as a force for form-making (plasticity and weathering), energy generation (streams and waves), transportation (hydraulic and floating dynamics), biological performance (growth, sanitation, healing), as well as leakage, material degradation and decay.Future of a City: Liquid Era (PDF, 11.43 MB) »
Four prizes were awarded in the Next Generation category for students and professionals up to 30 years. This category has become increasingly popular and seeks visionary projects and bold ideas, and gives young professionals public exposure and a platform to achieve recognition. For the first time in the history of the LafargeHolcim Awards, more projects were submitted in the Next Generation category than in the main category. The two top prizes of the European Next Generation category went to Poland. Malgorzata Mader plans to transform an old factory building in Lodz into new flexible-use living space. Jakub Grabowski won the second prize; he plans the restauration and adaptive reuse of a dilapidated historic building complex in Otyn. Anna Andronova from Russia received the third prize for a virtual model based on Kazan that aims to propel sustainability into the digital realm. The fourth prize went to Frédéric Bouvier of Switzerland. He proposed a structure that could help fight forest fires in the Collobrières region of France.Read more » pour en savoir plus (French) » lesen Sie mehr (German) » meer weten (Flemish) »
The project for a possible future of the city opens with a provocative question. “How could we, architects, be so confident that sustainability in the future will still lie in the field of bricks and mortar?” Learning from nature’s regulating processes, the author explores a set of fluid morphologies to derive an understanding of architecture in sync with the environment. Architecture, according to the project’s designer, can digitally reproduce the mechanisms at work in nature to produce architectural structures that can sustain themselves, while in symbiosis with nature. These forms and spaces (made of “digital multi-materials, nano-composites, natural vegetation, and holographic lasers”), are subsequently tested in a real context – in the city of Kazan. Here, the new structures are superimposing onto the heterogeneous city fabric to create a hybrid amalgam of entropic quality.
The jury enthusiastically endorsed the design’s bold visionary stance. The exploration – a research project in its own right – offers a discourse on possible forms of relationship between the built and the natural environment, offering strategies for perceiving architecture as a form of action in symbiotic relation with nature. While the project might benefit from some careful editing, the jury nonetheless commended the notion of design as a research platform to explore and discover yet uncharted terrain. The investigation furthermore calls for potentially new understandings of materials in construction, combining natural and digitally fabricated elements, while pushing the envelope of the discipline of architecture beyond established convention.See more
Innovation and transferability: Mindful city
Author’s concept is the transformation of a “smart” city into a “mindful” city. Mindfulness of a city is combined from two main parts: automation and interconnection of its infrastructural systems and socio-emotional intelligence of its citizens. New digital logic results in new spatial organization models, where the urban context is reimagined, by transforming it into condensed, clever, but flexible space. Typological matrix of city structural elements (point, line, surface, volume) introduces time notion into the rich functional programming, so that hybrid landscape is made. Absolute communication and coordination of infrastructural systems turns a city to a super-organism.
Resource and environmental performance: Healthy city
Healthy environment provides citizens with the best food, water, air, lifestyle and mental comfort. Alive city introduces new creatures – digital citizens, who maintain the whole urbo-ecosystem. Thanks to programmed biotic materials and elements, energy for the lightning and heating is no longer delivered, but rather executed inside buildings. In the same manner, goods and food are not collected from external global world but instead crafted locally. Moreover, a city has its own calendar, which allows using advantages of each year, season, month, week, and even day in a maximally efficient way. Cities would not only provide themselves with clean and free energy, but also apply biological methods of preserving it. A city realizes which fabrics does it require at the moment, and rams them up.
Ethical standards and social inclusion: Creative city
Production is spread and ubiquitous, yet at the same time localized and personalized. Labor equals education, equals artistic activity and equals entertainment. Value of exchange, trust and cooperation are emphasized by the network infrastructure. Space in a city acts a creative thought catalyst. With the augmented reality technologies a digital modeling of real physical laws, glowing, refraction, tactile feelings, smells reach the highest excellence level. On the other side, virtual objects may contradict to perspective laws or gravitation. Moreover, it is possible to work and interact with that wonderspace. The city becomes an interface for self-expression.See more
Spatial concepts for the city of the future demand planning for adaptability and deploying artificial intelligence says …
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