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(21-22) Nodes and Lines


Erik Van Daele
Engagement: urban cultures, 21-22
Language: English/Dutch
Campus: Ghent



Which architectural intervention can play on the dialogue Land, Labour,Living?

We work in the dispersed territory of Flanders and the North of France (the Eurometropolis: Lille, Kortrijk, Tourcoing) where landscape and urban contexts are mingled. Infrastructures (lines) are the liveliness of this atypical form of metropolis. Strategic points (nodes) where the lines cross are potential urban, natural and ecological destinations.

The Eurometropolis developed a green/blue network using the verges of rail, waterways and roads (the linear forest); and the fields in between them. In this network we will detect strategic points where landscape, living and economy collide.

The current plan, however, is one-sidedly focused on the ecological value of this network.

Imagine an architectural program and intervention that will address the complexity of this network where both humans, fauna and flora are put in dialogue.

We focus on a part of the proposed network: the parallel structures between Warneton and Kortrijk as an exception in the grid-like structure. Both Warneton and Kortrijk are points where the parallel structure is pinched. This region is characterised by different edges: national and social differences, barriers between living, land and labour, commercial differences…

In the example above: de goede hoop, the historic coherent local dynamic is currently replaced by a juxtaposition and clash between land, labour and living. We will develop new typologies that will shape a new dialogue and thus shape the future of the region. Imagine and experiment with new types of housing, of working and invent new landscapes.  How can nature be integrated in a building? In which way shall we work in future, how is work changing? How does this relate to new types of collective housing, to co-housing, to micro-housing, to changing family conditions…?



We work IN GROUP to explore the regional issues: the blue/green network, the ecological qualities, the social structure, the importance of edges and barriers.

In SMALLER GROUPS we will develop strategies and concepts for strategic nodes.

However, the main focus of the studio will be on AN INDIVIDUAL ARCHITECTURAL INTERVENTION Students will select their own site and construct their own architectural program that fits the site and the dialogue landscape, labour and living.



The out-put plays on different scales

On the regional scale we will explore the proposed green/blue structure in a model (the files to laser cut the model will be available); we will use existing GIS files to understand the social differences.

On the urban scale we will use the model and plans to develop strategies resulting in a growing map. That is a map in which all the projects of the students will be assembled to see the impact of the strategies on a regional scale

The out-put on the local scale depends on the complexity of the project the student defines. However, the output should have six types of drawings

  • A reading of the context and the theme at hand
  • A drawing that argues the urgency of the chosen theme. Why is it interesting and necessary to study by design the chosen theme for the evolution of the territory?
  • A plan demonstrating the position taken by the student in addressing the chosen theme and site
  • Plans of the intervention
    • A continuous ground plan showing how the building and the surrounding open space dialogue
    • A section in perspective showing the transitions and dialogues between the building and the open space
    • An axonometric of the dialogue between the building and the landscape

These drawing will be constructed in an iterative process, a process in which we will construct the drawings week by week.