Having first investigated the outside of our blocks - that is the urban circulatory network, and then the interior - the productive commons, we need to now zoom in and focus our attention on the collection of built form around the perimeter of the block, which delimits the two systems from one another. These clusters display distinct internal and external characteristics which differ from our typical urban model which we will want to explore for their architectural opportunities.
Internally, that is within the clusters, we have a mix/distribution of dwellings, greenhouses and public mixing spaces generated by the algorithms thus far. This mix, and the adjacencies created, show the potential for a variety of unexpected new typologies which mix urban programmes and intensive greenhouse production with a variety of public/privateness of each.
Externally, the clusters have a unique position in a new kind of urban environment. They border two distinct public open space types. In landscape ecology, these types of edge conditions are typically dense thriving systems that benefit from the resources of both ecologies they border. In a forest, the canopy thrives due its ability to extract resources from both ground below and the sun above. In a water ecology, the shoreline is often teaming with life, as the organisms that live there have evolved to utilise the resources of both the land and water systems they are situated between. Our inhabitants will likewise see the benefits of living on this kind of edge condition which will have access to both their beloved urban environment and the new productive commons which are woven into the urban fabric.
Our intention in this section, it should be clarified, is not to design in detail, or to dictate an over-arching formal mandate for the city’s typologies. Our aim, instead is to investigate the patterns generated by our system and extract some strategies and tactics (in the form of components and rules) to be employed for the development of a new type of Collective Form.
We are interested in a Collective Form approach, as defined by the Metabolist architect, Fuhimiko Maki, for its expand-ability, flexibility, and a composition being a result of component parts - the parts of which retain their individual identity in the whole.
We position this approach in contrast to one which would try to envelope the individual units into a monolithic landscape or megaform, where individuality is sacrificed in the interest of a unified formal character. We've seen the negative effects of this approach in the early modernist housing experiments across both the US and Europe.
We propose that the potential for a new activated public life will emerge from the unique social interactions made possible in the organisation of public programming and agricultural activity within our productive city. Within this overall structure, private spaces can still be allowed to differentiate and encourage personal ownership and identity.
The result of which will be a diverse and unexpected public space envelope which is a result of the dynamic between public & private, productive & urban.
Overview of tactical opportunities
A quick scan of the morphology generated thus far, some potential opportunities for architectural development have suggested themselves. We'll look at how we might systematise an approach for exploiting these tactical opportunities, such as:
- - Greenhouse integration, including various degrees of public/private production
- - Communal greenhouses serving as circulation, both horizontal and vertical, encouraging a continuity of flows through the clusters, connecting interior of the blocks to exteriors
- - Social mixing spaces distributed within the clusters.
- - Differentiation of types of dwelling units