“High On Wood” A tectonic shift from concrete to mass timber
By looking at contemporary practices of multi-story buildings in timber, it seems that they usually follow the concrete tectonic language as their ancestors in the modern era. However, with a paradigm shift to sustainability, we need to rethink the way we design and construct. In other words, with a material alteration from concrete as the primary construction material of the 20th-century to mass timber as the sustainable construction material of the current century, there is a need for a tectonic shift from concrete to wood. The fact about the newly engineered wooden materials is that they brought the structure and architecture back together since their divorce in the modern movement.
Considering the long tradition of wooden construction in Sweden and the importance of maintaining and developing this culture in contemporary multi-story structures, the current thesis aims at investigating how a medium-rise residential wooden building could take shape following timber tectonic instead of concrete. As a case study, about a 400 sqm parking lot located on the western side of Lund in Sweden has been used to design a multi-story residential building where I tried to do an integrated design of architecture and structure in timber.
Besides its technical aspect, the term tectonic is more about the qualities, and that is what differentiates it from technology. In this respect, if we assume measurable and unmeasurable attributes in the architecture of a home, tectonics would be a non-measurable quality, while technology would be a measurable quantity. Therefore, in my work, aside from the technical aspects, I mainly tried to explore the tectonic qualities of wood and its influence on the unmeasurable attributes of a home.
 Aryan Khalighy, With Mass Timber and the Scandinavian Effect, Harvard University, 2020
 Ola Nylander, Architecture of the home, 2002
Seeking Refuge Through Architecture Domestic violence is a cruel and inhumane act of aggression that is inflicted on a victim by someone in their close domestic circle. This includes partners, ex-partners, immediate family members, other relatives and family friends. Violence within the home is the most common form of interpersonal violence for women. The aim of domestic violence programs and shelters is to empower the survivors and to offer a safe space; a space where these victims can seek shelter in the form of emergency housing, mental-health support and help with reclaiming a stable and non-violent family life. Usually, victims of domestic violence and their families spend between one week to three months in emergency shelters before potentially moving to transitional or permanent housing. Today, shelter design has become a powerful tool to make people’s lives better, with increasing demands from different marginalised groups in every society worldwide - this type of architectural typology and spaces has only escalated in popularity. But it is important to keep in mind that building emergency shelters is not a solution but it is a part of the solution and the bigger picture. Through a combination of research and design I am interested in investigating how architecture; shelter architecture specifically can contribute to the victims’ rehabilitation. Alongside growth and stability, instead of acting like a medical facility or a “prison cell” for women in crisis. Image description: A part of Pietro Lorenzetti’s painting, Beata Umiltá Altarpiece, 1341.
Ådalen - Craft in Continuation
The site of the project is located in Ådalen, a stretch along Ångermanälven in northern Sweden. A region that during the 19th century grew and flourished through the wood industry only to stagnate and be phased out in the middle of the 20th century. After that, the region has been fraught with closures and population decline.
In relation to the industries that have existed in the region, I have chosen the program of the building to be a school of crafts with specialization in wood, glass and metal. The school would bring the local population and students from around the country together and consequently revitalize the area.
The project sprung out of an interest in how architecture can establish a connection to a place. Ådalen carries an industrial history which physical traceslargely have been erased. In the project I explore both the visible remains in the physical environment and those that are gone but remain in the collective memory. Seeing the building as a reflection of the various layers both physical, historic and cultural that together form the landscape it sits in.
Healing Architecture - The effect of the built environment on our mental health
I have always been curious about the effects architecture and the built environment have on us. The special atmospheres and the ability to arouse a sense of safety and calmness, but also the negative feelings certain spaces can evoke. Which architectural elements contribute to the way we perceive a space and more importantly, does the built environment not only affect our emotions but also our mental health and wellbeing?
In the last couple of years there has been a strong incline of people dealing with mental health problems, stress and burnouts. As much as every fifth person has claimed to have struggled with their mental health only during the last year. Additionally it is proven that mental health promotion as well as mental disorder prevention have a great effect on the overall decrease of mental health related struggles and needs to be implemented in our everyday life.
It is obvious that mental health plays a great role in our quality of life and happiness, but the topic still encounters stigma and discrimination.
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the connection between mental health and the built environment. With which tools can we design buildings that have a positive effect on our mental health? What is the overall responsibility of the architect, holding the power to create the spaces that inevitably surround and influence us everyday?
By introducing a new typology gym, this project offers a space that encourages the users and the passing people to become more active, while being surrounded by an architecture that has a positive effect on their mental health. To achieve this the project considers several different layers, in order to create a multisensory experience as well as to provide a variance of different situations, spatially and emotionally.
Architecture of Reuse
Exploring a prolonged life cycle of materials through an adaptive transformation.
Take, make and waste. Our society is trapped in a linear economic system where we extract raw materials, process them into products and as they have served their purpose they are reduced to waste. This unsustainable mentality seeps through to all things consumable, from fashion and cellphones to kitchen counters and buildings. The building sector is responsible for 40% of all waste in Sweden. Despite the pursuit of sustainability, we keep demolishing buildings long before their due date and sustaining a practice where not even new products are spared from the construction waste bins. While it is easy to surrender to apathy in the face of the systemic knot that our field is entangled in, another approach is to educate ourselves in building methods that we believe in.
This thesis explores transformation and material reusage, strategies that are often seen as separate programmes but are in fact closely interlinked from a circular perspective. The project investigates the abandoned CEPA-building situated in Västerbro, an industrial area in Lund that is subject to an urban renewal project in the coming years. As the area is demolished and developed into a new residential neighborhood, this thesis proposes an adaptive transformation of the former metal industry building into a mixed use public building housing a youth center, re:makerspace and flexible rental facilities for coworking and commercial activities. The building acts as an explorative testbed to gain knowledge on circular techniques, values and tools. How do we encourage a prolonged material life cycle through architecture?
Urban development at the port of Beirut
After the devastating explosion at the port in August 2020, the city of Beirut was left with immense humanitarian and material damage. Most of the port has been destroyed and is waiting for recovery and redevelopment since. The catastrophe started a discussion about the future of the port and offered the opportunity of claiming the land closest to the city center for urban development. To achieve a well accepted and sustainable new district, respecting the location as a site for memorial and connecting it to the existing neighborhoods as well as to the city center is of high importance. At the same time the focus should lay on the needs of the citizens of present and future Beirut.
The proposal reacts to a lack of public space and builds on the cities planning history. It is the result of a skeptical view on recent, economically driven urban developments in Beirut and has a strong focus on the accessibility of the waterfront for the citizens. At the same time it considers threats to the local micro climate and offers suggestions to mitigate negative impacts on the outdoor climate of public spaces.
Thresholds of Taksim
Spatial experience can be perceived as a kind of exploration of space that evolves within the fragments of lived moments and transforms over time. Squares, parks, and streets are the primary urban spaces where social interactions are experienced at an extremely high level. Taksim is one the most important and memorable public spaces of Istanbul, Turkey by being an assemblage of a square, a park, and surrounding structures. The fragmented transformation in Taksim, so-called a process of disidentification, follows a perspective that takes into account how the changes in the essence of a public space have transformed the area into a decontextualised void. The lack of enclosure of the square, out of scale spatial configurations and the disappearance of urban continuity which cause spatial orientation and articulation problems are the major problems that adversely affect the urban experience are observed under existing conditions in Taksim.
This project aims to reactivate and redefine Taksim and its surroundings by enhancing spatial integrity, creating new interventions, and providing new functions to contribute to the development of daily life activities. To accomplish this aim, this project uses threshold spaces as a tool to revitalize an historical urban public space in the context of a collective memory. It explores a spatial orientation that recontextualizes the users in the square within the spatial framework and integrates with the urban memory through the use, reinterpretation, and design of transition spaces. The vanished traces of the past and the traces that are still accessible will be references for spatial definitions on the revitalization of urban public spaces by investigating the historical breaking points defined by the political background and the urban interventions affecting the process of change in Taksim.
Multi-Purpose Women’s Center for a Community in Kisarawe
Enhancing social resilience through architecture
Architecture has a great influence on people’s lives regarding health, stability, and education and is crucial for economic and social development. This Architectural Thesis Project tries to find a solution to improve the living conditions of a marginalized community in a rural Tanzanian village, Kisarawe. It analyzes the potential of humanitarian architecture from the international, European as well as local, Tanzanian perspectives with a focus on gender issues and women empowerment in lower-income countries.
Tanzania is not only located on a different continent, climate, and time zone, it additionally has a whole different history that shaped it into the country it is now. What is the social and economic background and what are the area, the culture, and the people like? Which importance has humanitarian architecture and women empowerment in rural Tanzania?
For the project to be feasible, it was important to learn about construction in low-income countries as well as traditional building methods and materiality in Tanzania and to study building methods in hot and humid climates to explore an efficient and economical way to design and build.
The gained knowledge is used to design a proposal that aims to empower the women of Kisarawe. The result is a multi-purpose women’s center, that develops over time while providing space to feel safe for the exchange of knowledge, community work, and the production of building materials. Starting off with the manufacturing of cement-stabilized soil blocks as an income-generating opportunity, it develops into a construction shop that provides knowledge, tools, and materials to accomplish much-needed housing improvements for the community.
The goal is to reduce poverty and not only strengthen the independence of women within and around the village, but thus the resilience of the whole community.
Re-imagining Coastal Construction
When re-imagining coastal construction I will start from the ground up by bringing in the question of landfill and the creation of foundations in and around water. When constructing for coastal engagement we usually refer to the future of rising sea levels and implications that follow. Therefore, I will be looking into sedimentation movement and the idea of forced cumulation of sediments to build up foundations naturally. We can tackle this with a couple ideas put together, designing structures that will slow and redirect the movement of the current towards small masses of land. These structures will be the central hubs of the expansion of land masses and inhibit city growth at stage one. Creating small residential, park, commuting, and work blocks that will take the construction ideas of oil rigs and the positive effects of the mangrove. The subsequent currents that carry the sediments that will travel underneath and around will be directed towards set locations that will help grab this sedimentation and build up at a higher rate. This will reduce the amount of landfill that will be needed to bring in and the pollution that would follow. The project revolves around time and the ever-changing coast lines. Embracing this ideology within coastal construction and the formation of city expansion naturally with the use of intentional and beneficial human interventions. Utilizing the sedimentation build up to rise and fill in the in between areas growing this part of the city naturally. Allowing change to take place over the years instead of force change.
A TYPOLOGICAL STUDY IN ARCHITECTURE
SPACE AND ORDER
The thesis focuses on both developing an architectural design as proposal for new premises for Malmö Konstmuseum as well as investigating specific topics in architecture theoretically. The project is a typological study of form, space and order with a focus on structuralism and deals with man’s relationship to its spatial environment, character and relations. For oneself between others and it’s built environment. It begins with defining and describing concepts in architecture and creation that are used as starting points for a design. These can be understood and developed in parallel within, against and next to each other. The concepts are arranged in three groups of triads which deal with a topic. The first topic is ‘architecture’: 1.architecture (structuralism) 2. program (museum) 3. building (wood). The second, ‘spaces’: 1.space (vision and movement) 2. room (limits and frames) 3. encasement (functionalism) The third, ‘context’: 1. place (Rosengård) 2. macrostructure (Industrial and cultural implications) 3. ideosphere (incursions, surealism). These establish orders in how architecture can be interpreted and in turn formalize to be systematized and contrasted. From this order an overall abstract architecture is created to intermediate the formalized ideas. The architecture is in turn is broken down into components and parts within. The components are illustrated and reviewed in themselves as separate. They are put together to assemble components for new meanings in its variations in shape, position and scale. One component can address to several assigned tasks from the idea structure, and one task can have several corresponding components. Through the composition of the parts, the architecture in concrete is massed that in turn start to form larger compositions, spatial and material relations that can be reviewed again. Structures in structures. The design principle is additive where components are defined and designed through a grid structure which finalizes into a building. The result is the proposal for Malmö's new art museum.
A Meta-Synthesis of Architecture
The metaverse, a comprehensive world where you can see, hear and touch things virtually. You can travel there to experience things you could never do and see in the “real world”. Virtual spaces where any of us can create, wherever we lived. In a nutshell, it is really the art of possible for a community.
The trending platform that is bringing new possibilities to the world internet. It is being a notion of Web3, which is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on the blockchain, which incorporates concepts including decentralization and token-based economics. Metaverse is further developing under two major components of Web3, that is DAO and DeFi.
The Metaverse will take place in a cross-platform universe, primarily through AR,VR and MR; so that people don't have to occlude their vision to interact with that world. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have exciting potential in the future of gaming, marketing, e-commerce, education, and many other fields. Both technologies are known for their enriched experience that brings together a virtual world and the real one with enhanced, 3-D visuals.
Looking into this new medium of technology that is fabricating reality and the interplay of the built environment, the motive of this project is to explore the number of possibilities of mingling architecture with augmented virtuality. Meaning how the metaverse can be used as a tool that can contribute to the AEC industry.
Towards an architectural typology for the sense of touch
The development of this topic began with an interest in the sensory experience of architecture. When considering the sensory relationship between people and the built environment, it quickly becomes evident that architecture is an ocularcentric discipline that disproportionately revolves around sight. However critical this sense is to architecture, sight unfortunately does overshadow the remaining senses. To neglect the other senses threatens the immersive bodily experience within our built environment.
If architecture is designed with careful consideration of more of the human senses, the result can be impactful on both the physiological and the psychological levels. The sense of touch, in particular, is under-represented within the discipline of architecture. The reason for this discrepancy can largely be attributed to a lack of specific research and knowledge related to the haptic experience of architecture. Although the topic has been reflected upon by architects such as Juhani Pallasmaa within architectural theory, these ideas are sparsely engaged within the practical side of the discipline.
It is evident that there is a need for a more extensive approach to studying the relationship between architecture and the sense of touch. This relationship can be elaborated upon through multidisciplinary research and experimentation that is based in both theory and practice. With the knowledge acquired through this exploration, it is possible to work towards developing a new architectural typology for the sense of touch.
AI : Architects Inferiority
In this thesis, I am testing the potential of a machine learning algorithm as a creative collaborator.
This is tested through the implementation of a new framework for the design of a summer house.
I am training a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to generate new summer houses based on a dataset of existing ones.
Such a tool allows me to shift my role as an architect from designer to curator. I curated the input dataset, let the model generate novel geometries and I am assessing the outputs.
This framework allows more iterations, more testing and tryouts and ultimately unexpected configurations.
I suppose the post-human qualities of the generated images have the potential to break away from architectural preconceptions. I aim to diversify morphogenesis processes to fuel the discourse on the architect’s role in the future.
Additionally, I reflect upon the definition of creativity, the elements that make a space human and the implications of post-human design.
Study case Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Centre for vulnerable youth
Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
The present thesis explores the wide definition of homelessness and its complexity as a social phenomenon. It is a very complex and multidirectional problem linked to individual, interpersonal, and socioeconomic factors. In order to prevent and minimize it, the network of causes and triggering factors have to be found and understood, in order to solve the problem in a sustainable, long run. Often, the existing responses to homelessness are directed towards reactions rather than preventions, even if there are known economic patterns that would trigger the phenomenon, and social groups that are more vulnerable than others.
As a study case, the thesis explains the homeless’ situation in Chisinau, capital of Moldova, where the process of dealing with the problem is very slow, affected by old patterns and misconceptions. Based on the lack of information and proper data about the subject, it can be understood that homelessness is of no major interest for the local and national authorities. In the city activates only one state institution, a short-term Shelter, with the capacity of 80 places.
As a result of the research, the design proposal comes as a prevention method for vulnerable youth to fall into homelessness and vagrancy. Based on the interviews and available data from the Shelter, 11% of the homeless come from boarding schools and problematic families, resulting in weak family ties, lack of social and working skills, often choosing misleading ways of dealing with life.
The Centre for Vulnerable Youth is aiming to host up to 24 clients at a time with the possibility of residency up to three years and facilities provided by social workers, lawyers and psychologists. The Centre will provide space for trainings and workshops, in order to teach and improve their knowledge in various fields, up-to-date with the working market.
Participatory Design – An implementation through a youth center in Istanbul, Kuzguncuk
Participation, at its most basic level, refers to individuals taking part in choices that affect their lives. Through participation people can have a chance to observe and identify their opportunities and strategies for action and build solidarity to effect change. In relation to that, the study of participatory design is a research field that has been actively discussed since many years, which includes users’ participation in any stages of design and explores the conversation through designers and end-users.
The main question of this project is “What role do participatory design elements play in the design and construction of a youth center in the context of Istanbul, Kuzguncuk?” With its unique context and background Kuzguncuk has a direct relationship with “participation” and under this question I explore and understand the values of the participatory design method and try to seek architectural correspondences within the framework of local sources. The aim of the project is to investigate an approach to include community members from various age groups and occupations into the process by exploring the question of what methods should be considered for the design and construction of a centre that will provide common benefit to the society and how these outputs should be interpreted as design and construction methods. Moreover, I investigate to find a way to develop and formulate an alternative construction method which can be integrated successfully with the participatory approach by finding ways of collaborating, understanding, and interpreting the outcomes from community members through the implementation of a youth centre in Istanbul-Kuzguncuk.
The countryside is a concept in contrast to the city. We can define the countryside broadly as a collection of all areas other than cities, as mentioned by Rem Koolhaas in his book "Countryside, a Report", or we can narrow the boundaries of the definition to get a closer look and contact with each individual village in all its richness and diversity.
Rural revitalization is a rural development strategy that has been widely referred to in China in recent years and was first proposed in 2017. Compared to the urbanization of the countryside, which was often mentioned before this, the rural revitalization policy places more emphasis on culture, history, and the tourism industry in rural development. Economic benefits are no longer the only criterion for judging development, and the investment of funds is no longer an inefficient model of painting a big pie. Guided by this policy, as an architect, I have become involved in the countryside through architectural design.
Shiyou Village in Nanfeng County, Jiangxi Province, is a village with a century-old history. The village's Nuo festival culture is a traditional custom. At the same time, the identity distinctions associated with it, such as headmen and eight uncles, carry the bloodline links of the village. In this graduation design, I took this as an opportunity to propose a phased overall strategy for Shiyou Village, attempting to revive the village through the renovation of old buildings and showcase the Nuo culture to a wider audience.
The starting point for this thesis project and the source of inspiration is the novel ’Exercises in Style’ (original title Exercises de style) written in 1947 by French poet and author Raymond Queneau, in which he retells one and the same story, carried out in 99 different literary styles. It is not in the banal template story or the single retelling of it but rather in the repetition and the relation between the variations that something interesting occurs. What Queneau did was to explore the scope and possibilities of (the French) language.
The topic of style within the field of architecture has been brought to the fore with the current architectural debate in media, where there are clearly two camps; those who demand a more traditional architecture, modeled on older styles and especially the styles that were popular at the turn of the last century and those who believe that imitating the styles of old should be considered as something of a taboo. The polemic nature of the debate indicates a discrepancy in what is being built and what ‘people’ are asking for as well as an inability to talk about the subject. We need to find new ways to talk about style and architecture.
The ambition for this project is to explore the topic of style and to carry out an architectural investigation with the book as a model, through a series of repetitions and variations of a theme. The project is partly theoretical and partly a series of design exercises that I carry out. In the first theoretical part I discuss style in architecture and relate it to novel and its literary context, where constraint as a creative tool is seen as a possibility to re-imagine what style can be and how it can be discussed.
*Enabling Adaptive and Affordable Housing Production on Pitched Roofs in Berlin through Computational Design & Fabrication
In times of limited resources, growing cities, and a changing world, weeding out outdated answers to new questions is a cardinal task of architecture.
Especially in cities, the space is limited, and space does not equal space. A development in the outer parts with new infrastructure has completely different consequences compared to densification in inner city plots. In the case study city of Berlin, the population has continuously been rising for the past decade while housing production has stalled and prices for land, real estate and rented apartments skyrocket.
As a result, former inhabitants are displaced to less connected areas and new construction is rarely targeted at the average citizen. Arguing in the lines of Lefebvre’s Right to the City, the gentrification and commodification of space should be resisted and counteracted. Reshaping and creating new, affordable living spaces in the central districts is imperative with the goal of a healthy density effectively using existing infrastructure and a mixture of functions, demographics, and classes. While this is largely a question of planning, regulations and politics, architecture can still contribute to turning things around.
The thesis specifically adds to this discourse by investigating the potential of living on pitched roofs - enabled through consistent application of digital design and fabrication. This opens a new way of densification inside the existing urban fabric without further sealing of soils and across the whole city, essentially creating New Ground.
Kronprinsen - a city within the city?
The residential complex Kronprinsen, in Slottsstaden in central Malmö, was built between 1959 and 1964. One of the architect's, Thorsten Roos', underlying idea was that it would work as a city within the city, which it also did in many ways. Since then a lot has changed and happened, both regarding the view of a city and how Malmö works as a city today, therefore Kronprinsen itself does not act as a city in the same way today. In this project I investigate if Kronprinsen again could act like a city within the city, by introducing and changing its typology and parts of its design and function.
DESIGN FLEXIBILITY OF PREFABRICATED HOUSING SYSTEMS
SEARCHING FOR THE BOUNDARIES OF THE WIKIHOUSE
My degree project is focusing on the currently available prefabricated housing systems, analyzing them by their advantages over the conventional housing constructions, and searching for their design boundaries. Most prefabricated housing solutions are faster to build, less expensive, and both the building process and the outcome is more predictable. Still, they come with a high level of design limitation. In most cases the customer can chose from a catalogue of only a few design and layout options, and there is very little deviation from what’s offered.
Throughout an analysis on what’s available on the market currently - based on my own set criteria - I concluded that the WIKI HOUSE system holds the highest level of design flexibility. After looking into what the system can offer and where its limits are, I’m trying to find ways how to break the boundaries. My goal is to achieve geometry and layout alternatives that is currently not possible with the existing solutions of the system. To do so, I’m designing a case study house where I’m showcasing these alternative solutions. This case study building combines the regular wiki house elements, custom designed alternative wiki modules, and parametric façade solutions. This project is aiming for a conclusion on how far the customization of this system can go, and what can be achieved with it.
Machine Learning in Architecture
The new relationship between architects, images and tools
In my thesis, I am experimenting with machine learning image translation algorithms and exploring the new relationship between architects, images, and tools in the machine learning process.
In recent years, many image-based machine learning algorithms were developed and shown the potential of cooperating human and computer decisions to produce artistic images. In the architecture discipline, images take important roles to help architects acquire knowledge and inspiration, meanwhile, architects use learned knowledge to make drawings that guide the design and construction process. In this relation, all the decisions are made by the architect, while images and drawing tools never have their consciousness to actively makes decisions for architects. However, the machine learning process might suggest a new relation that architects use a large number of images to train a digital tool that makes its own decision to assist the architect in the design process. In my thesis, I developed a church plan generate tool to explore this new relationship and tested the quality of cooperating human and computer decisions in the architecture process.
The "Young-Old" community
The term "Young-Old" was introduced in 1974 by Bernice Neugarten, who further subdivided the elderly population. This term also corresponds to the third stage of the life cycle of childhood, adulthood, "Young-Old" and "Old-Old". According to this quadripartite division, "Young-Old" can be called the "Third Age." This group is the new and rapidly expanding elderly population of healthy and independent. The thesis focuses on the "Young-Old" group research, including demographic development, Population findings & hypothesis, Pension system & retirement, and relevant cases.
The research sequence starts with socio-demographic background information, moves on to the history of senior communities and case studies of innovative senior communities, and then to user research to summarize keywords and prepare for the practical sessions through transcription.
The ultimate "Young-Old" community design is based on a site in Helsinki, Finland. The site is located in the north center of Metropolis, near the city hospital, train station, commercial center, and stadium, making it ideal for the "Young-Old" group's recreational life. The senior community consists of public spaces such as hotels, meeting rooms, gyms, restaurants, offices, and semi-private spaces such as woodworking workshops, metalworking workshops, exhibition spaces, chapels, libraries, and children's playrooms.
The design concept does not refer to traditional architectural cases of senior communities but rather to the activity level of urban façades, the proportion of building scale related to the urban texture, and the non-hierarchical combination of partial buildings. The aim is to design a space as a terrain with multiple identities, where the community becomes a "Young-Old" interactive architectural space.