It’s always a pleasure for me to publish projects from my old undergrad school, the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris. The following project, Hybrid Lifestyles has been designed by Costantinos Caropoulos-Alefantis, Dimitra Papageorgiou & Stephanos Roimpas in the 4th year studio tutored by Marie-Therese Harnoncourt and assisted by the talented Adrien Durmeyer.
Cultural Co-existence // A multicultural system on the Ile Saint Louis.
The project of this semester was divided into stages
a) a masterplan proposal for a hybrid city on the Ile Saint Louis
b) an investigation(“zoom”) on how certain fragments of the city function in a much more detailed scale.
The main goal of the project was to create a sustainable environment, able to host users from different and diverse cultural backgrounds.
Both the masterplan proposal and the ways these fragments of the city function, have been initially treated in a purely programmatic level. The interconnection of programs was from the beginning a vital issue in order to trigger more specific activities for our diverse users group.
For us, in order for any given urban system to function, it must accommodate at least five prerequisite layers (domestic, religion, production, transport and education). By analyzing each one of them, we inevitably had available, a large number of programs to use. However, you will never be able to break-through given typologies such as a museum, a kindergarden or a church by following this analysis.
As a result, we continued in a more “algorithmic” way of thinking, by introducing the notion of the “plug-in”.The aim of the plug-in is to affect, change, mutate or develop a given and classic program such as “a museum” and result into more specific programmatic situations.
It mainly spreads into four different areas (urban farming, ideas/workshops, human body/movement, and senses) and “plugs” itself into already existing programs/activities in order to generate new,more specific ones, as mentioned above.
The outcome was sometimes fascinating and sometimes rejected(see programmatic boards). However, the system that arose was extremely flexible and able to reflect this flexibility in both the activities taking place and the aesthetics of this new city.
Investigating how the above mentioned mixture of programs takes place in small scale, we treated 3 close-up fragments of the city.
Highly influenced by classic examples of libraries, a new space is designed in order to promote discussion, social interaction and knowledge exchange. Activities from different layers merge in a library where tea spots are available. Its corridors, full of books, give the user a “museum” experience since he is able to overlook activities of the production layer as brewing and farming.
The typology of a bar is again slightly changed in a place where consuming different beverages is not the main concern. The way people from different backgrounds drink their scotch or beer in addition with the social interaction applicable around each drink resulted to a space where every spot, chair and table is designed around human distances and interaction.
Again the beer served is produced in a distillery two floors bellow while herbs are collected from the garden in between.
3)Could be named “social cooking”,
since it is a live archive of food preparation from different cultures. Herbs are collected, transported and processed on designed workspaces. The common language of food, smell, is transported through pipes to the upper level where people of the society cook, eat and exchange experiences on favorite dishes and their preparation. The layers of production and education have successfully merged.