“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen” said Frank Llyod Wright.
This Friday the Arcbox lectures series had the privilege of hosting one of the best lecture up to now: “TOUCHING THE GROUNG” based on the doctorate thesis of Toma Berlanda, one of our senior lecturers.
Tomà is a senior lecturer of the department of architecture at FAED, KIST and he is known for his comments emphasizing the importance on how the buildings touch the ground. In his lecture, he started by introducing to the audience his thesis project, how he started and methods he used to get to the final product. He created a lexicon (collection of words) to help him to understand and give order to architects intentions.
He took the audience through his thesis starting by the idea that architects are the ones that modify the ground the importance of how they consider the ground in their designs. He called this “Encounter the ground”.
He proceeded by showing what happened once the building touches the ground. Once the building meets the ground there is a discovery of the territory. The architect has to find the correct placement and start to consider the “growth” of the building, horizontal and the vertical, if he or she wants the building to have the vertical part at the upper part or at the intersection with the ground.
He gave importance to the fact that the architect is the one who decide to which extent the building touches or modifying the ground and not just the engineer. This was supported by examples of architects who considered the ground in their designs like Sverre Fehn, Le Corbusier, Dimitri Pikionis…..
He ended up by explaining the tectonics which is how the building parts come together and how these ones meets with the ground.
The presentation was followed by a series of questions by guests and students: Eudes Kayumba Arch.-who is one of the successful Rwandese architects-, arch. Luca Ginouliach -who works in UNICEF- and many students.
The Arcbox culture committee,representing the students, are thankful for this opportunity that were given to all students to experience a real presentation of a thesis project. We thank arch.Tomà Berlanda for his time and we encourage all students to be more participative in our lecture series.
This week, we will restart the series of public lectures at the faculty of architecture and creative design. We will start this year with Tomà Berlanda PH.d, a senior lecturer and a researcher of the department of architecture in FAED. Tomà has also taught in Italy, switzerland and the United States.
Tomà Berlanda, is an architect and a researcher. Born in Venice he developed his studies of architecture in the Accademia della architettura di Mendrisio (USI) and then got his Ph.D in the Politecnico di torino, with the thesis: topographical Lexicon. He will present his research on the way buildings "touch" the ground. How different architects and buildings try to give answers and react to their sites.
The Lecture will take place at FAED Building TODAY 9th december 2011, 4.00pm
The research project stems from a reflection on the relationship between architecture and place.
Amidst many, two question, which have already and at length been debated, deserve further investigation and experimentation. The first is the hiatus between recurrent statements on the necessity of the marking of the ground, the importance of placing the building, of the topographical situation, and the absence of scientific criteria to put into practice these indications. “Great” architects, more or less consciously, build up their personal toolbox. Aalto’s drawings show “one single and integral moment of stratigraphy, of every stratigraphy including lakes, water and seas, and contour lines”, in Utzon’s buildings the constructive logic of the tectonic form and the syntactic logic of geometry are continuously interacting, in Siza the work of the architect is thoroughly linked to that of the topographer. But the attention to the geographic patterns of places, to the form of the landscape and the singularities of topographies is not immediately translated into architecture, and to establish which are the moments of mediation is no easy task.
The second question is the diffused habit, almost a stereotype in the critical language, of praising a building as an “architecture creating a place where once stood a site”, without addressing the question “which are the reasons that make it possible for a work of architecture to create a place”. This omission is often the reason for an indiscriminate recourse to paradigms belonging to other disciplines. Thus, the architect who manipulates the landscape not only builds above the earth but modifies it through excavations, the architect in charge of great infrastructures seeks the relationship with the ground in a different dimension, the architect-geographer mediates between different morphological situations. What is missing, instead, is an explicit and fruitful work of disciplinary crossbreeding with land art and its interest to the quality of materials and transformations due to the climatic and seasonal changes.
Somewhere in between the two questions hereby posed, the hypothesis guiding the research project is that it is possible, other the necessary, to set up a sort of repertoire of elementary topographical conditions and that this operation would serve in a better understanding of how each of them is transformed in a grammar of transmissible design actions and not only related to individual sensibility. The lexicon is the intellectual tools that tries to do this.
After last year’s success with the start of the lecture series and exhibitions, the Department of Architecture opens new positions within its CULTURE COMITTEE.
We think that the life of the school and the learning process, has a crucial role beyond the teaching ours and the walls of the faculty building. There are lots of things to discover and to learn from, many to show to the Kigali’s architectural landscape and its cultural scene.
As protagonists of your own learning you are asked to participate and promote the cultural activities of your Department. Organize lectures and exhibitions, promoting the culture to your colleagues and friends and building up a student’s task force is expected from you. To reach the excellence of the Department and to create a network of knowledge that will benefit you and the future promotions of Rwandan architects. Managing and organizing lectures, exhibitions, and social networks, being exposed to guests and professional lecturers would benefit you and your careers.
For this purpose the students composing the culture committee will restart the LECTURE SERIES every Friday at 15.00pm, and the ARCBOX EXHIBITIONS. The ARCBLOG will serve as a window to our faculty work and growth and also as a tool to learn from the architectural world in general: publish articles and the work that is being done within our faculty and in the architectural world in general. This year we will start as well with a CINEMA FORUM every Tuesday at 5.30pm.
NUMBER OF POSITIONS:
16 (4 for each year
Revision of existing positions: 9 existing for 2nd to 4th year students.
New positions: 4 students from first year.
ESTIMATED HOURS PER WEEK: 2-3
POSITION OPEN TO: all grades students.
SCHEDULE : Meetings: every Tuesday from 12.00-to 14.00 at ARC staff office
C1_Lecture series: Every Friday
C2_Arcbox exhibitions: Every one or two weeks
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES: Students will make themselves available outside of normal class hours to assist in lectures, exhibitions, arrangement and update of the architectural blog and cinema series. A minimal amount of clerical duties (scanning, making photocopies, collecting drawings from students or guests, etc.) may be required. Additional duties may arise, but anything added will not exceed a workload of 3 hours per week. All students are expected to meet once weekly to organize themselves and additional work will be distributed in order to prepare lectures and exhibitions on time.
The existing positions will be revised in order to promote the good work and improve the CULTURAL COMITTEE with those committed and excited with the work.
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Submit a BRIEF STATEMENT OF INTEREST to arcbox.LS@gmail.com.
DEADLINE POSTPONED: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 5pm. APPLY NOW!
Hope to see you then
Esperance uses football as a tool for reconciliation, but also to facilitate life skills training and education for Rwandan youth.
Thanks to Esperance, L'Ecole Primaire de Kimisagara, Three Code Construction and FAED lecture series for organising this event.
After the exams and final reviews of the 2010-2011 year in FAED is time for September sessions’ workshops.
This year three workshops will take place, ranging from the smallest scale of the materiality and the tectonics of a wall; the architectural scale and its relation with the city organization trough a milk kiosk; or the largest urban scale of housing typologies and human settlements.
The workshop called Wall Works –Structure Patterns will be driven by Yutaka Sho, and Michael Beaman, and will focus on designing masonry wall systems that require no mortar, are structurally sound, resist seismic activity, and can accommodate a variety of openings for ventilation, views, circulation, and privacy for urban conditions.
Although the workshop focuses on material and tectonics, students are charged to explore urbanity through the issues including but not limited to scale, connectivity, double sided nature of the wall, visually and programmatic appropriation. The workshop will be held in two parts from 5th to 16th September 2011.
The first part will focus on pattern making through three concepts: tiling, interlocking, and layering. The second part will be an intensive session focused on using these 2 dimensional patterns to design, model and prototype a 3 dimensional wall system using repetitive masonry units. Each student will be supplied with model making materials, and expected to develop their project in 2 and 3 dimensions.
The work produced in this workshop may become the basis for a research seminar with students at the University of Virginia in the spring of 2012 as well as be complied in a publication that examines efficient masonry structural systems.
The milk kiosk prototypes workshop, will be held as well from the 5th to the 16th spetember 2011.
This one will be driven by Kilian Doherty and Nerea Amorós Elorduy with the support and sponsor of Rwanda Works.
This workshop will focus on the design for mobile kiosk prototypes. The goal is to be able to understand a bigger framework of production processes, selling strategies, and market logics, emphasizing their adaptation to the urban scenario and their specific design.
The workshop will be held in two parts. The first part will be an intensive urban understanding. We will focus on site and market analysis specifically on: the existing amata shops, and three general zones within the city where to possibly allocate these kiosks. The students will map and understand daily activities, patterns of movement and processes of production and selling. The second part will be the design of a prototype for a mobile/flexible milk kiosk. The teams will choose the best approach to it depending on lessons learned and the site where they will be working on.
The work produced in this workshop may become the basis for a further design development and real build entities that will work as prototypes for future amata kiosks.
(more info at milkkiosk-prototypes.blogspot.com)
The workshop called Urban and Rural Housing Typologies will take place from Sep 5th to Sep 14th , every day (including weekends)
During this time the students will be invited to partner up with colleagues from University of Arkansas, USA, under the lead of an international team of designers. This Peter Rich, Tim Hall, Korydon Smith as well as Sierra Bainbridge and Tomà Berlanda.
Building upon the research started last year, in the Urban and Rural Settlement Patterns workshop, we will take an alternate approach to the current city master plan. We will be developing urban and architectural proposals that include:
- exterior public/communal spaces
- community service spaces, such as schools, churches, and health facilities
- commercial spaces
- medium-density domestic spaces for both displaced families and upper-income families
Finally, we will develop architectural proposals that articulate and exemplify these principles.
The applications are open to participate, we hope those workshops will complement and improve the knowledge that the students learn during the semester, enjoying and enriching the faculty curricula.
The presentation was divided in morning and afternoon sessions.
During the morning session, the studio greet some external guest to give crits to the students projects; Luca Ginoulhiac from UNICEF Rwanda construction section, Marco Ginoulhiac professor at Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, Killian Doherty from Architecture for Humanity, Yutaka Sho senior Lecturer at FAED, Sierra Bainbridge acting Head of the department of architecture in FAED, together with the instructors Tomà Berlanda, Nerea Amorós Elorduy and Kefa Angwenyi
For the afternoon session the new external guests were Garret Gantner lecturer at FAED, Ben Hartigan from Mass Group and Bruce Engel from Sharon Davis design studio.
The final reviews were organized in couples, were students with similar projects presented their projects to the guest and colleagues and received the crits and opinions.
The project was Swahili Woodwork Restoration and Exhibition Centre based on the existing model of the Research Institute of Swahili Studies of Eastern Africa (RISSEA).
The students were given 3 sites; Piggott place, government square and one adjacent to the cemetery and fort Jesus.
Today Mombasa’s Old Town is suffering from a progressive loss of productive activities. The majority of tourists arrive in Fort Jesus, where they are met by guides which bring them around on a fast paced walking tour, and then leave. They spend little time and money on the ground, thus failing to contribute to the revitalization and preservation of the neighborhood. Simultaneously the pressure by real estate development is pushing the old inhabitants outside of the Old Town. New, market driven, developments are constantly being proposed without any consideration of the history and tradition. With their design, the students have been invited to propose an alternative model for this, a cultural institute which will promote the future of the old town.
After the presentation students, instructors and guests shared a drink together.
As the pin up progressed, the lunch time approached as well .But before we went for lunch, Dancilla,the representative of the COVAGA women weavers, one of the important guests arrived, giving some interesting critiques. After the presentations of a few more couple of groups ,we went for lunch .
The second session began with new guest Killian Doherty, Thomas Berlanda, Nerea Amoros elorduy, as time went on, some of the students that had finished their presentation disappeared and others were busy trying to finish their work in the creative design studio.
After the second session of the presentation, we voted for the top 3 students whose work was better and more comprehensive to be exhibited in the arcbox, within the exhibition “weaving transformations”.
The voting process begun with the students picking the best student from 3 groups thought did the best work, afterwards the lecturers voted as well. Later we all came up with three students: SHYAKA Aziz Farid ,INGABIRE Doren and KARAGIRE Christian .They were chosen as the representative students for our 1st year in architecture 2011 with the project of designing a bus stop for COVAGA in Gashora, Bugesera, Eastern province, which was not as obvious as it could seem.
In brief, the project although at the beginning of the semester, things were not making a lot of sense (how to use and learn from the weaving techniques to come up with a bus stop) as time went on, students learnt a lot from the different weaving techniques.
We really thank our lectures for the great lessons that we had together throughout the entire memorable 1st year of architecture.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF DESIGN? MASS Design Group: Public lecture and Exhibition, FRIDAY 19 August 2.00 pm
The South African architect Peter Rich founded Peter Rich architects, on 1973. The studio works to engage the society through architecture, using sustainable designs and local materials. The gross amount of their projects are developed in Africa, from South Africa to Ethiopia or Rwanda.
Their project Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre has been awarded by the 2009 world architecture festival.
Designed to house artifacts from the region´s prehistory, the building connects intimately with an extraordinary veldt site in northern South Africa near the border with Zimbabwe. The complex landscape was both the inspiration for the design and the source of most of the materials for its construction. The heart of the interpretation centre is visually contained by two hollow vaults that evoke the route-markers found in southern African cultures.
The scheme, at four times previous development densities, was developed to demonstrate how housing could be designed to make use of the sloping topography, create meaningful external spaces and respect the pedestrian.
The master plan was inspired by an understanding external space in the Rwandan urban and rural context. The Urubuga or public open space is expressed in the scheme through semi-public walkways and courtyards, forming a network of external spaces that structure the development. The design therefore respects Rwandan tradition by incorporating this culturally cherished private courtyard within the layout. retrieved from: www.peterricharchitects.co.za