Client: Bookshop Godert Walter
Location: Groningen, NL
Site: Existing urban courtyard blocks
Prof. John Frazer, Dr. MinXi, Prof. Liu Xiyu, Chris Moller
This research project investigates how a ‘Parallel Ecology’ of high buildings could co-exist without destroying the existing qualities and liveliness of the slowly evolved historical city. Instead of the usual ‘tabula rasa’ condition we propose towers which grow out of the existing ground level respecting existing ownership boundaries, historical traces, existing physical and social conditions. As global warming continues to affect the low lying cities with steadily rising sea levels, many will be confronted with a stark choice. Leave or stay and fight, in short ‘Build or Die’. Our response to this long term challenge is to create a network of evolving towers for future citizens to inhabit a new ‘parallel ecology’ above the old city.
We are researching the possibilities of this project together with Professor John Frazer, Dr. Ming Xi and Professor Liu Xiyu to establish a rule based system which could inform a suitable computer program to develop the project further.
Seeding Rules: The starting point for all of the towers is size and shape of each internal courtyard. These previously privately owned back gardens become the tower footprint. Each urban block develops an independant response to the building task. Different floor heights/ thicknesses of structure, program etc respond to local need. Towers adapt in response to the needs of adjacent towers. The growth rate is defined by rise in sea level. Twisting floorplates enable separate buildings to be connected together for additional structural support and exchange of resources between separate vertical communities. The voids morph to create a new kind of public space. Successful results of connecting towers are expanded in the next levels.