The question of adapting architecture to the fluctuating presence of water arises globally today. Extreme weather events and the consequences of climate change – in 2015 the World Climate Conference will be held in Paris – recall how this theme is of central importance.
Appearing as a new territory, the water is covered with floating or underwater architectures, inhabited bridges and lake cities. It is also the inspiration of a “liquid architecture” dominated by fluid and moving lines. And finally, in liquid or gaseous form, it becomes a material of architecture. The models, drawings and video in the exhibition reflect this research and are applied to all environments: the marine environment with the coastline, the fluvial and lacustrine environment.
Water is everywhere. In us and outside us: indispensable resource for all life, it constitutes 65% of an adult human body and covers 71% of the surface of our “blue” planet, leaving only 29% of “land” areas. The increase in world population and the consequences of global warming makes it even more sensitive compared to water: access to clean water has become an extremely pregnant issue especially in so-called “developing”.
Water also constitutes a fundamental element of our imagination, both in mythology and in the arts, literature and poetry. But it is perhaps with the architectural design where water maintains its strongest relationship, the more complex and more ambiguous. If man needs it to survive, it must also be guard against its possible abuses. Today many contemporary architects develop an alternative relationship to water, considered as a territory, as a material with qualities or as a liquid form, inspiring architecture and fluid moving forms. This multifaceted approach allowed the emergence of a composite and changing water, where cross science and poetry, technology and experimentation, creation and sustainable development.
“When water meets architecture” (Quand l’eau rencontre l’architecture)
Marine Museum of Loire – Châteauneuf-sur-Loire
16/05/2015 – 09/21/2015
Musée de la marine de Loire
Ecuries du château – 1, place Aristide Briand
In the 1960s, the aspiration of a generation to break free of the constraints and the full enjoyment of life is reflected architecturally by a quest for new ways of living incorporating the principles of mobility and scalability. But the population explosion is also pushing to seek new areas, posing as an alternative to urban congestion in a setting conducive to recreation. Spread the houses and the city on the water appears as a solution.
Palafittes Architectures: new territories
The first villages built on stilts on the edge or proxi¬mité a lake-are apparently appeared in Neolithic. This type of construction called “palafitte” is plant deep into the soil by underwater wood piles ensuring the stability of the structure deployed above the aquatic expanse.
This type of construction was widespread in the Alps, developed to act as one of the founding myths of the Swiss national identity. It is also based on this principle of construction that are designed Venice or Amsterdam, and the basis of the Piers and jetties walks that appear on the coast during the 19th century. Guy Rottier implement it in its draft of Nice Centre. The architect imagines an ovoid structure fixed on stilts, citing in particular the Casino Pier, built in Nice in 1885. Connected by an underpass, the bubble emerges from the sea and gives users the feeling of immersion total with the marine environment. The Dock en Seine project directed by Jakob + MacFarlane for the City of fashion and design in Paris involved this heritage by giving also as a structure extending the walking areas of the river banks.
Live above water is both a way to recharge the connection with the natural elements but also a architectural solution for the housing shortage. Yona Friedman’s Ville Spatiale transposes the pattern of lake cities: the houses are 35 meters above the ground on a raised metal modular grid and maintained by a system of “towers”. The inhabitant is emancipated from urban constraints and freely moves his housing through this fixed and collective frame, leaving the freely enjoy the space and enjoy the surrounding spectacle.
David Georges Emmerich, on the other hand, deploys an “autotendante” structure above the sea. Her proposal is also over the English Channel, and takes the form of a bridge for an extension on the sea area (Bridge Channel, nd). It uses the principle of tensegrity he experiences in 1958: this system is based on a play of tension and compression between tie bars and buttresses to create a structure within which the forces are spread and balance. Vittorio Giorgini also uses this type of system in Rivercrane. A suspended structure out of the water and “projects to the sky” as an aerial continuation of the site. The primary support is a shaft placed on a “tripod” and stabilized by a cable system: they also support the octahedral substructure of all modules.
Floating Architectures: new mobility
Some architects tried to meet social and urban issues through floating projects. The renovated watery element adapts then the very definition of “territory”: the fixity of land meets the fluidity and movement of aquatic surface. A sclerotic sustainability of architecture and traditional city meets the mobility and scalability of the floating architecture: the physical contact between water and architecture promotes a transfer of its material properties and / or symbolic in the architectural element.
In his project of Floating Cities, Charles Simonds offers a reallocation of urban space by a city on the sea, designed as a criticism of our traditional society based on private property. The configuration holds that random movements of maritime traffic in the image of a natural system, with the ability to divide and multiply. This quest for mobility is also that of the city that proposes to implement Chanéac on Lake Bourget (Aixila, 1963-1968) and composed of plastic cells. Cell habitats are juxtaposed and superimposed as an organic structure which, on the water, would find its natural origins. Associated with recreational activities and resort, bodies of water are an opportunity to bring even merge habitat and recreation, live and enjoy. Justus Dahinden (Theatre-Boat, Lake of Zurich, 1970) and Pascal Häusermann (mobile theater, 1968-1971) offer users to experience new sensations in entertainment and floating leisure complex. For Gartler Klaus and Helmut Rieder, water acts as a destructive and creative element that allows you to forget the past to give birth to a new architecture: they propose the creation of an artificial lake submerging the Austrian city of Graz and then develop a floating mega-structure that can accommodate a community of more than 200,000 inhabitants (Die Stadt Vertikale, 1964).
Coastal Architectures: a renewed show
Living on the coast or on the shore, it is constantly moving witness the spectacle of the waves. The viewer wants to become living architecture that provides visibility into the landscape, which put in scene framing and organizing the look.
Manfredi Nicoletti redraw the coastline of the city of Monaco by building a satellite town consists of artificial hills open amphitheater on the sea, recalling the aesthetics of Marina Baie des Anges (City Satellite, Monaco, 1966-1973 ). The different levels allow you to change the look of the sea and apprehend the space with a new circulation. In the new city of Vaudreuil project (1967-68), Jean Renaudie understands the slope the ideal site to build. The architect deploys complex rounded to reconstitute the different strata of the city he emphasizes the appropriation of relief overlooking the Seine. As opposed to traditional linear planning, James Guitet up homes intermittently indented coastline in its Coastal Planning Project (1965) to avoid the effect of “waterfront” forming a screen between water and land . His “Coastal Village” large resort, commercial and cultural conditioning for 5,000 guests, takes the form of a three-pointed star level, each open onto a large patio and three towers which culminate with headlamp, at the top, platforms for helicopters. “The plan to” spearhead ” allows maximum visibility on the site,” says the artist-architect. The organization of the I-House (2000-2002) performed by Hitoshi Abe in turn allows a continuous route through the house leaving residents successive timeless pleasures of a landscape in perpetual motion.
The architecture is by definition associated with the solid state. Its shape, traditionally massive emanates including the implementation of dedicated materials. While many architects worked on the implementation of alternatives, a new trend appears from the years 1990-2000 to change the sclerotic vision of architecture.
The emergence and development of digital design tools promote indeed a challenge to the building as finalized in favor of a “liquid architecture”, in the words of Marcos Novak. The structures are then characterized by their fluid and evolving forms, mingling convolutions and continuous surfaces. The Docks en Seine Jakob + MacFarlane articulate this approach: their undulating shape derives directly flows the Seine. Similarly, HydraPier Asymptote proceeds from a double fusion with the environment, water and air through the sky. Like two wings and gray like water, the structure tends to blend into its surroundings completely when viewed from the sky.
NOX and ONL will be among the first agencies to materialize the idea of a non-permanent architecture, responsive and fluid. With the Pavilion of fresh water and salt water pavilion built near Rotterdam, they create spaces without right angle or flat surface. These give the impression of being deformed such as water, under the leadership of various stimuli and sensors. Indeed, the images and changing lights, splashing water, soil and sloping walls are opposed to the traditional image we have fixed spaces.
Frank Lloyd Wright, with the house Falling Water, built between 1935 and 1939, made water the true foundation of the building which seems to remove the irregularity of the waterfall. There are water and built body, solid and liquid together make this organic architecture, as conceived by American architect. Similarly, Mies van der Rohe, the German pavilion at the Barcelona exhibition in 1929 made water basins architecturale a real component: water, as well as the walls, the structure built and space. the idea of using water as a material today is extremely diverse applications.
Water can invade the facades. The agency R&Sie(n) in the project Acqua Alta in Venice, bases his entire approach on a digital principle suction of water from the lagoon. Seeking to express the destructive nature of water, the outer shell of transparent PVC recalls the image to material, greenish color and its undulating shape. In this case, the water determines the outset of the project design and the direction of the building.
In Geotube of Faulders Studio, the artificial reproduction of natural phenomena (saline crystallization) generates an architecture assimilating to a natural phenomenon: water passing in the front pipes made “naturally” change the look of the frame following the environmental variations of the site. This approach promotes the idea of an interactive architecture, able to adapt, modulate and take advantage of changing weather conditions thanks to the latest technological advances.
In its gaseous form, water is also constituent of the air we breathe and that envelops us. It describes our environment climatically. In The Mollier houses project (2005) by Philippe Rahm spaces are formed from changes in humidity, drier to moister areas define function freely that can occupy different times of the year. Located in the middle of the lake Vassivière, the project also extends this humidity conception of space beyond the house, making the physical presence of the lake water as completely damp room.
The humidity is also at the heart of HygroSkin project, Métérosensitive Pavilion by Achim Menges which completes five years of research on the reactivity of materials to climate variations. In this “météosensitif Pavilion” consists of 28 wooden panels, it uses anisotropic and hygroscopic properties of wood. The presence of water in the grooves of the wood frame changes the distance between each microfibre – dilating or constricting – and causes the withdrawal or deployment of wood petals which open or shut the openings in the shape of petals.
News source: FRAC Centre