Architecture as infrastructure

Wednesday 23 Mar 2011

bluarch present a new model of entropic inhabitation

This residential tower is a hybrid. It offers pods for transient residential units and produces energy when and where these units are not present.

Three super-columns act as cores, and as a structural system. Pods are piled on and around each super-column and host residential units, windmills or solar panels. Every five to seven stories up, larger, green pods span all three super-columns to brace them in a truss-like system. Nine large-size windmills top the tower and their forms blur as they rotate in the wind.

This model of inhabitation finds scale significance if repeated and scattered in a fractal distribution in urban settings across the globe. The residential units would move from tower to tower, along with its inhabitants in a highly entropic narrative. As it produces energy, this building is energy self-reliant and a contributing node to the electric grid. Therefore, this tower has a negative CO2 footprint, and transcends its architectural identity by acting as infrastructure.

An urban framework where architecture is also infrastructure produces a shift in the balance of real estate values and safeguards the overall economic stability of a large-scale ecological project. In fact, this model of infrastructural architecture would entail the participation of public funds, and/or the collaboration of private and public resources and figures. Thus far, only a change in policy has been able to create the economical viability for environmentally feasible architecture. This hybrid model which overlays architecture and infrastructure further establishes the importance of a new sustainable paradigm.

Further, mass-customisable residential units can be fabricated and installed to suit specific needs. This approach opens up traditional construction methods to new design/build processes where design and installation are purely based on form and performance. New social models
are forming, and fluidity of relationships and mobility of the smallest social units are pushing for a more ductile economical model for the construction industry. Hence, mass-customisation is a natural, viable and necessary consequence.

These premises offer scenarios of an ever-changing architecture in a continually varying urban setting. They portend a shift in the conception of portable residence and architecture without site. In this conceptual framework the diagrammatic approach of modern times no longer has relevance.

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