Work title: 11. Thou shalt not waste urban ground on buildings that you don’t inhabit. (0001001835)
The main cause of the financial (economic) crisis was the failure of the bank system after the huge amount of credit that people took to invest in real estate.
What led these people to take credits many times bigger than they could actually afford to pay, credits that would have obliged them for lifetime or that would have indebted even their children for decades ?
It was nothing else but the desire for property, for being the owner of the place they live in, of their private space.
But this huge desire for housing connected with the limited offer, led to this state of things, when people could afford to pay these huge prices only via the credit system.
Let s make the houses affordable again. Let s rethink the property status. Let s rethink the land exploitation.
If we look back in history, we see that such a crisis already happened before, crisis that led to a new organization of human settlements - from the village (horizontal development) to the city (horizontal +vertical development). How this problem was solved back then? By adding a new dimension to what makes the object of ownership – from a plane (a piece of land in the agrarian system) to a volume – an enclosed space (with the development of the building of rapport), so from a 2 dimensional to a 3 dimensional object. What if the crisis today could be solved in the same way? Let s add TIME dimension to what makes the object of ownership, time being the time period while the owner use it s property. There is no point in immobilizing a volume in the city that has no function, but waits to be used, when the city space became so valuable. It seems immoral to enclose between walls a box for yourself while you don t use it, while you are at work, for example. In the same way, the working office buildings, they immobilize space while they are not being used (at night, for example). If we look at bigger scale, we see that our cities pay tribute to this old model of ground exploitation, and now we have mono-functional areas (either for living, either for working), that are being unused for half of their lifetime period.
The way we work today is totally different from the 19th century, when the factories had to be build in a separate area because of pollution, this leading to city zoning. The office buildings today could be built in living areas and viceversa.
A telecommunication company that wants to emphasize the zeitgeist , the spirit of our times – mobility- will build his headquarters in a dense, central area of the city where there would be available only a small plot (200 sqm). They will recover half of the investment from selling the living units (flats, hostel), that will occupy half of the building. These flats will be more affordable because of the better land exploitation (with this new method, the developer built twice more than in the traditional way).
We developed this building as a tool for action in an existing built environment, where there would be available only small plots, so it had to be very limited in area. This led to this new typology, with only one living or working unit per floor and with all circulation designed as vertical circulation. Even the different offices of the same company will be connected only through vertical circulation (elevator), because they might not occupy consecutive floors, but dispersed all the height of the building.
This building will work by the following rules:
no unused module will stay above ground
no module will be moved while being used
nobody will be living and working in the same building
Synthesis – An Utopian Settlement
a new typology
affordable housing, because of the better land exploitation
no more city zoning, no more mono-functional areas which would be dead areas while not being used
less horizontal growth, so less infrastructure, smaller distances
democratization of the high rise - mixed people with different social status because of the changing disposal of the modules
less energy - the modules stored underground won'' t spend energy to keep a constant temperature while not being used
mobility - you can move your module from one building to another, using an underground track, if you want to live in another part of the city, so you could change your residence without having to change your private space for another.