Katerina vaseva portfolio_lowres


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Katerina vaseva portfolio_lowres

  1. 1. Each year the company ISOVER organizes an annual interna-tional student contest divided in a national and consecutively,an international stage. This project was created for the 2012edition of the contest whose task was to design a sustainablecommunity in a derelict postindustrial area in Nottingham,UK and to propose a housing typology compatible with thestandards of the passive house.The project constructs its approach based on firstly, theexisting plans and proposals for the area, which is a part ofNottingham Waterfront Regeneration zone and secondly, onan interpretation of what a sustainable community is in termsof urban regeneration.The proposed housing typology it uses the idea of separat-ing form (the outer, connective layer of a building whichresponds to its context’s aesthetics, natural conditions, urbanform) and function, which is compatible with standardization,modularity and adaptability.The project received first prize in the national stage of thecompetition in April, 2012.
  4. 4. SITE PLAN
  6. 6. 4. CUSTOMIZE
  8. 8. City of culture of Galicia / Peter Eisenman BIG deal *The article was originally posted in the OpenBuildings blog and was later featured in Archinect. *The article was originally posted in my blog.See link below text. See links below text. Images, quotation references and links are omitted. Images, quotation references and links are omitted. Earlier today I was weirdly irritated by a project by PLOT, namely the REN Building:As I set on writing this week’s Building Spotlight on City of Culture of Galicia, I was baffled by the amount of papers, articles and comments on the subject and their diversity. I should It is a rare case that an image or a couple of lines disturb me to the point that over the day I go back to it, dissecting and unconsciously mixing it up with all the other thoughts runninghave seen this coming, as the project’s scale, budget and implications have stretched far beyond the initial expectations and urged a furious debate among architects, journalists, through my head. So what could be that irritating about one-of-the-hundreds flashy projects posted and re-posted all over the web?politicians and locals. Commissioned in 1999, after an invited competition featuring a constellation of starchitects (Libeskind, Koolhaas, Nouvel, Perrault, Steven Holl and Ricardo Bofill,to name a few), the winning project of Peter Eisenman originally featured eight buildings (later reduced to six) composed in a complex, three-dimensional undulating terrain merging Long story short, the REN building is to be built in Shanghai, China, as a legacy of the last year’s World Expo. As one of the latest projects of the dernier cri Bjarke Ingels, it has beenharmoniously with the environment. featured in a number of websites, along with Bjarke’s joyful agenda of “radical pleasing” (which sounds a bit pervy, I have to say). In one of BIG’s numerous comics/animated videos he was even cheeky enough to once again remove the r from revolution: as if we haven’t seen that cheap slogan trick many times already. So, the REN was originally intended to be a hotelEisenman himself admits that “there is no question that the Santiago project is a response to Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao...The people short-listed in the competition [...] are an indica- in the north of Sweden, but both the jurors and PLOT agreed that it doesn’t really fit there. A few years later though they had a meeting with a Chinese businessman who was stunned totion that they wanted something out of the ordinary.” Indeed, Gehry’s flowing titanium ribbon symphony turned out so economically successful, that it not only provided the once small discover that PLOT’s misfortunate competition entry was actually shaped as the Chinese sign for “people”!unremarkable town with an eye-catching postcard image, but even gave its name to the infamous “Bilbao Effect”, the idea that one building can transform the fortunes of an entire re-gion. Although Gehry officially deemed it as “bullshit”, ever since ambitious city planners from all over the world are trying to bag an iconic new building by a superstar architect hoping Didn’t Bjarke really ride on this. The once-to-be Swedish hotel is currently being described by the optimist comic lover as: “The REN building is a proposal for a hotel, sports and conference center for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The building is conceived as two buildings merging into one.for a similar upturn. The first building, emerging from the water, is devoted to the activities of the body and houses the sports and water culture center. The second building, emerging from land, is devoted to the spirit and enlightenment and houses the conference center and meeting facilities. The two buildings meet in a 1000 room hotel, a building for living. TheHowever, the case with the City of Culture proved quite different. Eight years late and - up to now - more than four times the original budget, it was a subject of furious polemics from building becomes the Chinese sign for “The People” and a recognizable landmark for the World Expo in China.”its very conception. Eisenman’s magnum opus (150 000 sq. meters, $581 million estimated cost to complete) was conceived in the right time and the right place: amidst the economicaland building boom of the late nineties, in a country that has always laid its faith (and money) in prime-quality architectural works. Ironically though, the complex had to open in a time of Opportunism, whatever cool slogans and comic books you wrap it in, is a very dubious agenda: there is something profoundly wrong already in the touching story of a Chinese business-global economic deficiency and expectedly, suffered harsh critiques regarding its excessive consumption of time, money and labor which few believe will pay off. man recognizing “the people” and giving the decisive push for another ugly (I finally said it, okay.) “landmark” built on the extatic occasion of A World Expo. There is something wrong in BIG’s cultural flexibility: Swedish hotel gets a second reading and currently bursts with dualist symbols of Ying-Yang, Body-Spirit, Water-Land, blah blah blah. And they go as far asApart from the economical impact, the “Bilbao Effect” has another, less visible but just as strong implication: it creates images the city identifies with, and as much as “identity” is among celebrating the happy coincidence by saying “People as in “The People’s Republic of China”! Are you fucking kidding me!those trendy, largely misused words, in the case of architecture, it relates to the connection residents and visitors feel to a place. While a project of such a scale and ambition has thepotential to add another layer to Santiago de Compostela’s rich and diverse identity, it is crucial that its intention is communicated properly and embraced by the people, who are going Let’s ignore the fact that China is a bit on the authoritarian side and the republic is not really a “people’s republic”. Or okay, let’s not ignore it, but let’s say that how equal animals areto live with it. is not the architect’s concern. By the way, Herzog claims that the (state-sponsored and heavily advertised) Olympic Stadium in Beijing is an act of resistance towards the Chinese govern- ment, because:There seems to be a strong discrepancy between how the project is communicated in terms of architecture and ambition and the way it’s perceived by the larger audience. Formally con-ceived by overlapping the historical street grid of the medieval city, typography of the hill, abstract Cartesian grid, and a scallop shell, symbolic of the city, the innate idea of the project “We see the stadium as a type of Trojan horse. We fulfilled the spatial program we were given, but interpreted it in such a way that it can be used in different ways along itaccording to Eisenman is a space that has to be experienced and decoded. However, somewhere along the way the decoding has failed, as the majority of the local population seems to perimeters. As a result, we made everyday meeting places possible in locations that are not easily monitored, places with all kinds of niches and smaller segments.”be at odds with its economical and political implications. As much as I’d love to elaborate on Herzog’s idea of free-spirited Chinese who gather in the niches of the Nest to gossip against the authorities, let’s get back to Ren now. The two sym- bolic legs of the building house conference centres, sports centres, water culture something, meeting places and on top of them – a 1000 room designer hotel. Now, seriously, how manyIt was a bit surprising that among all the diverse publications on the subject, I couldn’t find almost anything dealing exclusively with how the people of Galicia perceive the project. people’s building is this going to be? And which people’s building?Scrolling down through forums and article comments, however, it turned out that there are opinions voiced and they do say a lot, perhaps offering a point of view that has been underes-timated. BIG, PLOT, JDS, OMA, all the capital letter acronyms, they mean well. I’m sure they do. All the websites and blogs re-posting the project exclaiming over its “cultural sensitivity” and “poetics” mean well too, and so does everyone whose heart warms up at the thought of architecture as a vessel of higher ideas. (Mine does too, by the way.) I can’t see as far as all the[comments and quotations from interviews and forums of residents and visitors of Galicia] implications of reinforcing this architectural strategy of wrapping obvious agendas in cheap symbolics and good intentions, but for one, those are the designs that have shaped mine and my peers’ sense of architecture, meaning and aesthetics. Someday someone would perhaps quietly say, ”Hey, actually shaping the building as the symbol of something means crap andDo our times of economy setbacks and hardships still deserve grand architectural gestures or should priorities be reordered, putting more pending needs first? Can “the Bilbao effect” still the world has plenty of landmarks noone cares about and all those beautiful and not so beautiful buildings we see on websites are actually very very few people’s buildings”. But sincework nowadays and who is going to benefit from iconic buildings? Don’t hesitate sharing your thoughts. architecture is generally an upper middle class fun, why not reinforce it, why not build up to a small elitist club of symbolics, (r)evolutions and good intentions?OpenBuildings blog: http://openbuildings.com/blog/2011/07/city-of-culture-of-galicia Blog: http://delightfulgames.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/big-deal/Archinect: http://archinect.com/news/article/12444118/building-of-the-week-city-of-culture-of-galicia