1. Designing an Urban Tissue.


The aim of this workshop is to apply the SAR73 method to design an urban tissue. The exercise focusses on a given site, for example a city district of 20-50 hectares and a program of housing, densities, car parking, schools, and so on. 


The urban tissue explained.

We learn about characteristics of different outdoor spaces, thematic and non-thematic components, about building zones and margins, transformation and deformation, while applying a tissue model into a plan. This will be illustrated by examples and case studies.


tissue model sketched.

We discuss and choose the thematic space types of an urban tissue for the concerning city district. We describe the patterns* of those spaces, the shapes and dimensions based on what the citizens might want. The day will conclude making the drawing of a tissue model and its different functions. Basic assumptions about average costs will be taken into consideration.


The tissue plan designed.

Now we discuss non-thematic spaces - like a special square - and special buildings like schools, sports, shoppings centers. Thereafter the model will be applied on the location, thus transforming the tissue model and possible deformation on the way to a tissue plan. A more detailed cost calculation might be possible.


The tissue plan finalized.

Traffic, landscaping with water and green, children play grounds, ducts and services, will be drawn in. Different categories of housing will be distinghuised, special buildings, will be drawn to illustrate as a check and a proof.











2. Designing a Support, a base-building.


The aim of the workshop is to apply the SAR65 method to design a base-building, a support structure. The exercise deals with a given building site of about one hectare and a program of affordable housing.


The support idea explained. 

We learn about different types of support structures and their  divisible dwelling space. We pass by access spaces, private outdoor spaces and their characteristics. According to the method we explain thematic and non-thematic components, zones and  margins. Attention will be given to circulation, facade systems as well as to ducts, services and metering. This issues will be illustrated with examples of real built projects.


A support model sketched.

We now discuss and choose a support type, its construction and in particular the built space to be sub-divided in units. In case of stacked housing we consider theother thematic spaces for instance private outdoor spaces, circulation and shared staircases. Each space type will be discribed in a pattern* as an agreement of the form and how users might experience it. The day will be closed by sketching a 'support model' in which the theme of the building is rendered. Dimensions and costs are roughly indicated.


The support model specified.

Based on a series of household types, including their programmes, we now specify in the model dimensions of the divisible support space and study its possible parcellation in dwellings. Meanwhile we have a look at non-thematic, special spaces that have to be added to the design. 


The support plan designed.

We apply the model on the site and see what transformation of the model would be appropriate to design the plan.  It is time to conclude the designed support by locating different categories of housing and sketch fa├žades, entrances, site plan and other topics. A global estimation of building costs might be inserted.




3. Infill Practice, fit-out exercises.


In this workshop we exercise the infill consultancy given some empty dwellings of 50-70 m2.


Infill Design introduction. 

In order to set the scope for the workshop the Open Building concept is summarized as well as the parcellation of a support, based on different household programs. We learn about the organization of an infill procedure.


Consultation exercise 1. 

Members of the group are roles assigned in pairs. Based on the rules to be explained, clients furnish their homes registered by the designers. This will give a deeper insignt in the clients needs and desires. 


Consultation exercise 2.

The same teams change roles of client and designer. This is an exercise on a second empty dwelling. Clients make notes about their needs and desires in housing, while designers make the drawings. Designers present the designs, explaining the needs and  of the clients. The results are presented and discussed.


Consultation exercise 3.

On a larger dwelling.

New teams of one designer and two clients (representing a larger household) devellope a larger unit. Again the results are presented and discussed in a final evaluation.






Reading and listening about Open Building design is a good start, as well is visiting projects and talking to the dwellers. However to really internalize the concept it is best to participate in a dedicated workshop for hands-on experience and sharing the experience with colleagues participants. A series of master workshops is given, taylor made. They take one or two days and groups are ideally eight to twelve persons. Three workshops cover thee levels of decision making: Urban tissue, Support and Infill in a nested and coordinated interaction.

How can we design capacity to be filled in by another designer on a 'lower' level? How can we design in a given context of a higher level? The workshops will let you know and feel.