2016 ASA Competition - Basic in Architecture

organized by Thailand’s Royal Association of Architects as part of ASA Expo

Honorable Mention

Awarded project by Srdan Nad & Grupo H

Satellite photos of south Chicago display large areas of greenery interrupted by small number of buildings. Unfortunately, the image is deceiving! The greenery is not the result of some eco friendly urban renewal, but of urban decay. The people left, and their houses remained empty for a while, but subsequently were demolished by the city to combat the crime and decay. What was left are large expanses of vacant lots covered by greenery. City of Chicago desperately tries to redevelop the neighborhoods but fails as the urban form is strict and doesn’t allow for flexibility.

standard architecture is complex, suited just for single usage

In a current scheme, house can only be replaced by a similar house… a warehouse with a warehouse… and so on… Is there another way? Can we redevelop the neighborhoods by introducing basic, flexible architecture?

Basic architecture should be flexible to allow for  a user to adopt it for another usage

Basic structure should exploit the technology of current time and offer unlimited flexibility to its users. The basic architecture is therefore flexible, as it solves one problem and generates endless opportunities. If we create 100% flexible structure, then a true sustainability can be achieved as every new user will adopt the structure to intended usage. Neighborhood will be revitalized over and over again.

Basic can be defined in four elements:

1 | flexibility instead of complexity

Basic architecture should solve one user need and create endless possibilities by providing unlimited flexibility. The structure responses to many different usages, form a family house to bank, groceries store and even a fire station. No matter what the usage is, a simple layout accommodates every functional requirement.

2 | true sustainability

True sustainability is achieved when structure can change suit different usage. A structure should live for decades or even centuries, and thought that time change and adopt to new functions and requirements. The only limit of the structure should be structural life frame of its component materials.

3 |  building – neighborhoods relation

If a success of complex architecture depends on several elements working in seamless synergy then a basic should be a total opposite Just like a neighborhoods flexibility of the structure is a living being. It corresponds to the changes in the community and adopts to different usages. Buildings that can change allow for Neighborhood to thrive

4 | simplicity

Just like flexibility, simple designs should allow for the building to go trough many different configurations throughout its life span. Simplicity is logical and flexible.