URBAN VERTICAL FACTORIES | Vienna, Austria | International Competition | 1st Prize
3 L’s for Liesing
A New Vertical Factory: THE TYPOLOGY
We conceive Liesing as the LAB to test a new identity capable of catalyzing a process of urban renewal that realizes the new paradigms of industry 4.0 in which ideation, design, production and leisure occur in the same urban space.This agonistic urban vision seeks to activate idle life in parallel to productive life.
And this identity should not only symbolize but also build new values associated with a cleaner, more efficient and intelligent industry… in short, more sustainable. But it must also be able to build new values associated with a more educated and aware society. Just as Nina Rappaport wonders whether vertical factories can again represent sustainable solutions for future self-sufficient cities, we share the idea that “reinventing the factory has the potential to engage the public in the cycles of making, consuming, and recycling needed to create a self-sufficient city. “
In response to Rappaport’s approach to the future of the vertical factory, we propose a new typology based on the triple L strategy: the spectacular L + the sustainable L + the flexible Lofts. Playing with the “L” of Liesing as a characteristic image, we combine a red L, highly industrial and containing logistics, with a green L, highly “natural” and social, and a potentially capable and diaphanous container space between them, the Lofts.
The red “L”: spectacular logistics
The red L not only directly symbolizes Liesing but is responsible for transparentizing the spectacular of industrial processesand knowledge generation.
Its horizontal part, stuck to the street, contains not only the facilities and “capable” space but the administrative conditions to accommodate a sort of industrial “residence”, following the popular artist-in-residence programs. It will be open and in continuous contact with the street, and will experiment new industrial solutions exposed to the public. In parallel, it will cohabit with other complementary uses: sports, research, education, trade, etc. whose purpose is to activate and to make urban life more complex. From an administrative point of view, we propose that the assignment of industrial use on these lower floors may be temporary and under leasing conditions sufficiently attractive to attract newly formed companies. In time they will have to decide whether to move in any of the upper floors or to go to another place.
Its vertical part is the one that contains mainly the companies’ logistics: freight elevators, people lifts, stairs, vertical shafts …. Its facade is designed to give visibility not only to all the energy processes of the building but also to the intrinsic movements of goods and people. In short, it is considered as a collective celebration of industrial day-to-day and its multiple social implications.
The Green “L”: the socio-environmental machine
The green L is not only green because it contains a wide range of vegetation and native crops but because it builds its structure in clear reference to the so characteristic green of Vienna’s civil structures.
The horizontal part, which forms the roof of the building, is considered as a vegetation cover capable of hosting local crops that can supply the restaurants in lower floors.
Meanwhile, its vertical part builds a “more pleasant” interior for the installed companies as well as an accessible exterior where to meet, share, exchange, escape, isolate, relax, laugh, breathe …
However, both parts function as a greenhouse that can become a thermal buffer or a natural climate control both in winter and summer by driving air to interior parts of the building.
Lofts: slabs for programmatic flexibility
We offer 2 types of “capable” slabs: a dominant slab capable of supporting 1000 kg /m2 and a minor slab, limited to an overload of 200 kg / m2 but whose location is completely flexible depending on the needs of each company. Both use the same structure of large beams to be placed up or down.
The strategic location of the building’s vertical core (the red “L”) at 1/3 or 2/3 of both ends, allows to create and serve 3 surface ranges that comprise the requested spectrum of companies: from 50m2 to 1000m2.
These load bearing slabs have as lateral façade their corresponding installation trays that allow the maximum “super” connection of the installed industries. Likewise, their facades allow to have a maximum exposure of the city and the light towards them but also of the industries towards the outside, reason why they become the most representative part of each company. We imagine 2 L that in their lag “catch” a great quantity and diversity of company brands stacked in height.
The image of energy
Industry is energy. What is the role that energy has to play in the new industry? Although the answer seems to be non-negotiable, it does not seem so much the way in which it must be formalized.
We propose that the answer be, once again, the transparentization of a kind of closed cycle between several energy processes that occur in the building: water, electricity, heat, wind and waste management. For this reason, it seeks to implement a series of complementary installations to recirculate all the supply processes: from the typical solar collection on the roof to energy harvestors that transform latent residual energy into electricity through the piezoelectric that takes advantage of the movement of trucks as well as the recirculation of hot or cold air from the greenhouse to the interior spaces.
However, we insist that more important than the minimization of energy costs or profitability of resources is the visualization of these processes. THE NEW LIESING HAS TO BE CONVERTED IN A EDUCATIONAL MACHINE CAPABLE OF RAISING AWARENESS ON NEW VALUES FOR A NEW SOCIETY.
In short, we propose to evolve the typical industrial typology based on a supporting and capable structure to one based on an energy structure, which is efficient, connectable and, above all, educational.
A New Urban-Industrial Scape: THE PLACE
Playing with different placements of the 2 L’s and the Lofts a great typological variety is achieved. Any possible combination guarantees a clear identity while responds to certain edge conditions and, in turn, generates certain urban situations that provide the whole with unity and urban character.
We propose, therefore, an urban strategy or laboratory instead of a final image from the conviction that it must be the self-learning that is produced in the different phases the one that leads the construction of the following ones. Our design proposes 3 conditions (the 3 L) of flexibility, sustainability and spectacularity as guarantors of industrial, organizational, cultural, social, and environmental values. However, the way in which these 3 conditions are related must be negotiated over time between all the agents involved and according to the results of the process. In this sense, Standpunkt Liesing has more to say than we do. We only establish the rules of the game but not those of its development.
However, we do propose certain limitations for the definition of the space in-between buildings: public space. Following the normative restrictions of this area, we propose to “guarantee” minimums of urban quality to foster life at street level, understood mainly from the leisure and the work. To do this, we use certain recognizable typologies such as the square, terraces in first floors or the commercial street where the programmatic conditions and accessibility at its edges ensure continuity between indoor and outdoor programmes while maximizing the possibilities of use.
However, the buildings’ ground floor is defined by a percentage ratio between complementary industrial uses and other tertiary or commercial uses. As with the typologies themselves, the distribution and selection of uses at the street level will be a further argument for discussion between agents involved, led by Standpunkt Liesing, during the process. The public space, as well as the private, is subject to the very future of the idea of Laboratory.
It is for this reason that we propose a number of uncertain scenarios for each of the different phases. Our proposal of phases is rather the representation of the flexibility and interchangeability of the proposal itself. In short, we propose a process of self-feedback and data exchange which turns to be characteristic of 4.0.
Another City for a Another Life: LIESING
Our strategy to implement the condition of boulevard in Perfektastrasse is the opposite to the characteristic image associated with this typology. Following basic criteria of urban ecology it seems unreasonable the construction of a narrow green strip between roads since this would only serve to “decorate” the road and not so much to create a space of quality for pedestrians. For this reason, we propose to bring the hypothetical space of an intermediate boulevard towards both sidewalks, not only to widen them but to increase density of the existing trees. In this way, both sidewalks are widened to accommodate not only the passage of pedestrians and / or bicycles (“the role of the Boulevard as a passage”), but also to encourage casual encounters and chats (“the role of the Boulevard as a place to stop”)… along the boulevard and especially in the new concatenated “plaza” spaces which appear from the alignment system proposed in LAB-Liesing. Coinciding with the main “plaza” spaces large pedestrian crossings are created, with bumps and changes of material to appease the traffic (“the role of the Boulevard as a street to cross”). In the same way, its increased width and accessibility allows its occupation by uses in adjacent ground floors contributing to generate that new relational ecosystem in Liesing.
As a result of LAB-Liesing, it is postulated that the L formed by the intersection between Perfektastrasse and Lemböck-Gasse has the same condition, that is why the strategies described above for Perfektastrasse extend along this new urban L, creating a new Urban sequence that connects with the new developments, especially with the Silo project.
Finally, the meeting point of this urban L is conceived as the “entrance” to the Industrial Area Liesing concentrating various elements in one of the new “plaza” spaces used in the urban strategy: a new info-kiosk, that reuses and increases the existing elements of Standpunkt Liesing (a new green L is added to the existing red L) while integrating a new bus stop and a small new building where small commercial uses are gathered next to the parcel-machines of the area (“the role as a local link”) to create a central public space.
In short, the proposal first recognizes and incorporates those urban and architectural elements that already define the identity of Liesing to later manipulate them and evolve into more complex, more flexible, more spectacular and more sustainable typologies in order to build a new identity associated with ” Another (industrial) city for another (idle) life. “
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