Den©ity wants to see beyond the conventional urban-rural dichotomy or the natural vs cultural landscape. In aiming to provide a suitable framework for public life, Den©ity proposes a democratic city-scape that combines both public and private elements in a continuum of intermediate shades of privacy.
The man made city-scapes are currently under pressure, socially and climatically, therefore our proposed approach for the strategic site is to address the environmental issues within the wider social, political and economic realms.
The resulting Den©ity will undoubtedly have greater resilience, will enjoy greater
biodiversity and inherent beauty, all enhancing the well-being of public life.
Den©ity emerges at the intersection of several particular site conditions: the political will of developing a satellite, a housing community ten minutes drive away from Karlstad; the existing interest of a lively IT business community connected to Karlstad University; high touristic potential owing to the wider landscape with its forests and lake.
These conditions overlap to create an ideal environment for an IT business incubation hub amidst a vibrant local community with the additional benefit of high touristic potential.
In search of a more compact way of living that would nevertheless retain the qualities of a single family home while also benefiting from the sense of place of a cohesive urban like community, we propose two flexible base modules, easy to adapt to different site conditions and size requirements and incorporating uses beyond residential. The housing stock becomes the supporting framework for the mixed use natural entropy to gain momentum.
The core complementary typology, the Courtyard House and the Skylight House, prove flexible enough to be combined into one, two and three floor height blocks as well as hinged to cater for different household sizes (3 bedroom 120sm, 2 bedroom 105sm, 1 bedroom 90sm).
A system of shared courtyards that extends the pedestrian priority open street helps to articulate the public undercrofts with shared functions (storage, saunas, guest rooms, community living rooms) and spaces to be hired by small businesses (hairdresser, pharmacy, bakery, grocery, etc.) as part of a community managed letting system.
The Courtyard House and the Skylight House are interpretations of an archetype that allows the private, the semi-private and public realms to form a seamless continuum of enclosed and open spaces thus augmenting the usable area available to each family and at the same time reinforcing community interaction.
Energy and utilities management is a key issue, with the economical, environmental and social benefits that make a development to be truly sustainable in the long term. Therefore we propose an energy masterplan as part of the early research and feasibility study. It will maximise the strategic site potential and will also form a solid basis for urban and architectural design.
The existing conditions on the strategic site are our starting point. The overgrown reed on the lake becomes a resource with considerable potential; the surrounding farming land and riding schools with the associated animal waste is also a resource; the area forest management will always generate bio-waste which can turn into an energy resource. Even the existing and future occupants organic waste can become a resource within a well thought energy masterplan.
Such energy masterplan infrastructure can be misread as a large financial commitment, nevertheless a correct phasing of the energy masterplan harmonised with the site growth can reduce the financial pressure associated with any new infrastructure which backs up the site wide phased development, with long term benefits.
Tomaso Boano, Jean Craiu, Alexandra Demetriu, David Lindsey, Anca Mihalache