OFL Lectures L005 Autumn 2017

Author: Philippe Rahm Architectes

• OFL Lectures L_005 autumn 2017

> Form Follows Climate. About a Meteorological Park in Taiwan

• Philippe Rahm is a swiss architect, principal in the office of “Philippe Rahm architectes”, based in Paris, France. His work, which extends the field of architecture from the physiological to the meteorological, has received an international audience in the context of sustainability. He starts to teach architecture design at GSD, Harvard University, USA, in Fall 2014. He has lectured widely, including at Yale, Beijing Forum, UCLA and the ETH Zürich.

• Abstract

This publication is about the Jade Eco Park for the City of Taichung in Taiwan, an international landscape and architecture competition for a park of 67 hectares won by Philippe Rahm architectes, Mosbach paysagistes and Ricky Liu & Associates in 2011, with a construction completion in 2018. It presents original documents from the Detailed Design Phase completed in 2013 and some photographies of its construction. For Philippe Rahm architectes, Climate Change creates an opportunity to rethink architecture and urbanism with climate in mind, to shift our focus away from a purely visual and functional approach towards one that is more sensitive, more attentive to the invisible, atmosphere-related aspects of space. Slipping from the solid to the void, from the visible to the invisible, from metric composition to thermal composition, architecture as “form and function follow climate” opens up additional, more sensual, more variable dimensions in which limits fade away and solids self dissociate. The Jade Eco Park reveals how the climate can be at the base of a masterplan, adding sensorial qualities to the city at the same time as saving energy and meeting the objectives of Sustainability.
The park’s design composition is based on climatic variations, from warmer to colder, from wet to dry, from polluted to cleaner, generating a diversity of microclimates and a multitude of different experiences open to the free will of the visitors. The park’s buildings are also based on climatic issues, by dissolving in separate layers the different climatic missions of the facade, towards sun, heat, rain and pollution. Philippe Rahm architectes purpose is to say that if today climate is the problem, climate can be also the solution, by basing the design on physics, by rethinking the architecture and the urbanization of a city from an atmospherical point of view, more ecological, providing new quality of life to the inhabitant, more comfortable, more sensual.


ISBN 9788894139464

Philippe Rahm website  


OFL Lectures L004 Winter 2016

Author: Acha Zaballa Arquitectos 

• OFL Lectures L_004 winter 2016

> Indigo. A Blue-Green Approach

• Acha Zaballa Arquitectos, is an architecture office founded by architects Cristina Acha and Miguel Zaballa in 2006. They have won several awards in diverse international and national ideas competitions. In 2015 the office was selected as one of the 35 emerging Spanish teams by On Diseño architectural publisher. Their projects have been wide published in magazines, blogs and specialized media in architecture.

• Abstract

The urban development has been characterized by the ability of ongoing innovation and the continuous improvement. Now a day, in a context of global economic crisis, the planning development inherited from the post-industrial era seems exhausted. Today the appropriate use of resources and the accurate assessment of social priorities remain to be the objective. We wonder how the innovation provided by technology, which is increasingly accessible, is helping to improve our cities, to conserve resources, to generate new ways of sharing the public space. In parallel to technological progress, and somehow due to it, the renaturalization of urban areas is becoming a priority. We wonder in what way it matters this longing for the approach to the natural issue in the concept of urban development with the goal of equality and a common identity based on diversity.Considering this background we are seeing an increasing number of proposals thatsuit their scale to available resources, promote flexibility and give the highest prominence to public spaces; proposals arising from bottom-up processes aimed to generate connections that enrich social relations and help to boost the vital pulse, creativity and, as a result, the economy. Within this context we focus this lecture in our proposal for a specific case: the revitalization of Forus area in Stavanger (Norway). ‘Indigo’ is a re-naturalization strategy with special emphasis on identity.


ISBN 9788894139457

Acha Zaballa website 

OFL Lectures L003 Summer 2016

Author: Eleanna Horiti

• OFL Lectures L_003 Summer 2016
> Urban Tools. Exploring an Alternative Architectural Vocabulary

Eleanna Horiti, a DPLG architect, founded her practice in Athens in 1997. Her work encompasses many aspects of the design process. She aims to challenge feelings and practices of civic responsibility, to explore the desire for control and the role of the architect as manipulator. In 2013 she created Elementary Particles, a testing ground for micro-scale projects. She studied Architecture (Paris-la Seine/UP9) and Fine Arts (ENSBA Paris) in France.


A somewhat meandering train of thought aiming to explore the necessity and utility in creating and developing sets of ‘peripheral’ structures and facilities to be used as urban tools, in order to target issues that have arisen or have become accentuated as a result of political and social processes. Presenting a set of examples of urban tool units either belonging to the vast and varied category of temporary shelter, or adhering to the concept of public space reinvestment, in an attempt to explore and interconnect issues such as precarity, transience and the need for shelter to the concepts of space reappropriation, the creation of contextualised infrastructure and the notion of welfare structures. Raising awareness of the existence of parallel realities within cityscapes and the gaps created in urban continuity and functionality. Raising awareness of the need for architectural proposals to not just create structures, but to initiate discussion and expand concepts in order to enable and facilitate alternative uses of urban spaces or utilities, while aiming to enhance exchange between the different strata within societies, enabling buildings/structures to become answers. A brief navigation through the urban context and the controversies surrounding the efforts to address needs imposed by transformative factors (mass migration, immigration, increase in the numbers of the shelterless) resulting from economic policies applied during the last third of the previous century and the subsequent globalisation. Acknowledging the fact that instead of real political solutions being sought, more often than not, political obligations are being transferred to the design realm. Questioning the possible existence of preemptive architecture, inasmuch as it is intended to prevent social iniquity and understanding that, as a rule, architects arrive ‘after the fact’, called upon to confront [already] established social situations/patterns.


ISBN 9788894139433

Eleanna Horiti website


OFL Lectures L002 Spring 2016 > PLAN:B ARQUITECTOS

Author: Plan:b Arquitectos Felipe Mesa Federico Mesa

• OFL Lectures L_002 spring 2016 > Connections. Five Architectural Pills

Plan:b was founded in 2001 and works from Medellin, Colombia. The Colombian architects Felipe and Federico Mesa currently lead it. Plan: B understands material practices as eco-social areas of convergence and as partial agreements with potential to transform our environments. Felipe Mesa (1975) is an architect from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB), Medellin (1998) and has a Master degree from ETSAB in Barcelona, Spain (2000).


This lecture offers five short pills of architecture (Hashima Island, Caddisfly Shelters, Opposing Neighborhoods, Exchange of doors and windows, Phenotypic Plasticity) which narrate a phenomenon or explain a concept which has been important in our architectural, academic and professional practice. It’s titled  ‘Connections. Five Architectural Pills’.
They are all independent, but are connected in our speech; and try to work as an analgesic, stimulant or vitamin for our thoughts around the eco-social phenomenon that makes architecture. The speech moves through different topics, connecting the transformation of the island of Hashima in to a mini-city dedicated to coal extraction, with temporary shelters built by caddisflies during their larval phase using little mineral and organic fragments.
It connects the concept of phenotypic plasticity in biology with the hillside construction of two opposed neighborhoods in the city of Medellin. And it allows the description of reusing architectural fragments of demolished constructions to coexist in the same text as the tempting idea of thinking of architecture like an extended phenotype of the human body, like a big prosthesis that synthesizes specific ecosystems with genetic and behavioral necessities.

ISBN 9788894139426

Plan:b website 


OFL Lectures L001 Winter 2015

Author: Marco CASAGRANDE 

• OFL Lectures L_001 Winter 2015 > Paracity. Urban Acupuncture

Marco Casagrande (1971) is a Finnish Architect, Environmental Artist and Social Theorist. Casagrande’s works and teaching are moving freely in-between architecture, environmental art, urban and environmental design and science, and circus adding up into cross-over architectural thinking of «commedia dell’architettura». He views architects as design shamans merely interpreting what the bigger nature of the shared mind is transmitting.


Open form enables the biourban city. An industrial city seemingly independent of its natural environment is replaced by a living organism.

Paracity is a modular urban structure system based on the use of a glue-laminated solid wood grid, a sort of primary framework, within which people can build their homes, create communities and establish cultivations. Organic by nature, Paracity is capable of growing unaided on urban wastelands such as floodlands or slums. This autonomous biourban growth is made possible by modular environmental technology, which provides the necessary ’internal organs’ for the communities created in the process. Paracity is designed to receive, process and convert the waste generated by urban centres into a resource. It serves as an acupuncture needle in the side of a polluting city.

The third-generation city represents the organic ruins of the industrialised city. The existing symbioses between Taipei’s collective gardens, urban cultivations and illegal settlements and the surrounding city are fragments of the third-generation city. These areas serve as the city’s acupuncture points piercing through its industrial skin to reach local knowledge. Drawing upon and committed to this resource, the third-generation city grows to become part of nature.

Paracity is the seed of a third-generation city. A modular biourban organism grows in response to human needs while at the same time ruining the surrounding industrial city. Seeds of Paracity are germinating within Taipei in the collective gardens, illegal settlements, abandoned burial grounds and other undeveloped sites. These seeds will contribute to the biological rehabilitation of the surrounding city through urban acupuncture. From these points, Paracity will spread out along the covered river and irrigation channels. Ultimately, the biourban organism and the static city will reach a biologically sustainable equilibrium that will give birth to the third-generation city.

ISBN 9788894139402

Marco Casagrande website