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AAJ Press
Architecture & Design, Ecology, Environment, Nature

Agorascape – An architectural concept from CM architecten and Uzoni Studio of Amsterdam

A soft material covers the hard concrete surface like moss covering a stone, creating a warm and inviting landscape…

This was the main idea behind AGORASCAPE, a concept born as response to the many examples of cold, grey, unfriendly, deserted and unsafe urban interstices and interior public spaces, which often seem to be some “leftovers” of the designing process rather than real communal places of interaction, fulfilling the function of bringing people together.

The diversity of organic form and lively colour that it can take on, the multitude of functions that it can serve and the variety of spaces where it can be implemented is extremely flexible and open to meet the needs of each specific situation.

As a soft impact-absorbing surfacing, we intend to use a continuous, porous material, made out of coloured rubber granules, mixed and laid on site as a wet-pour product.

A number of properties, like rapid drainage, high level of noise absorption, resistance to abrasion, slipping, indentation and ignition, practical for wheal chairs, hygienic, long life with minimal maintenance, and no joints for vandals to attack, make the material suitable for a large variety of outdoor and/or indoor public spaces and an unmatched range of creative design possibilities.

It can cover the existing site, either partially or entirely, in shapes reminding natural landscapes, such as sand dunes, see waves, tea plantations.

Then different objects in contrasting materials, shapes and colours, organised as sitting areas, tables, basins etc, could be inserted and integrated in this relief of moss-like carpet.

Or the material may provide the coating for the objects themselves, designed as urban furniture with organic shapes, harmoniously integrated into the whole.

Alternately, the relief can also be carved in, rather than build on, creating inserted sitting area islands and basins, or the whole concept may be combined with natural elements, like trees, plants, water. Alternative sources of energy – like solar and wind energy – will be used for lighting and/or heating/cooling of surfaces (already subject of our lab research).

Essentially, we conceived AGORASCAPE as a way to revitalize existing organisational and public spaces in addition to shaping new ones. The aim is to put into practice principles like eco-effectiveness (sustainable and environmentally friendly concepts) and waste equals food (nature inspired models of up-cycling various materials) in order to make sure we create a welcoming, comfortable, efficient and safe, truly life-affirming and contact-stimulating environment, where rigid defensive mental frames are able to make space for creative sharing. The feelings we intend to suggest are ones of safety, harmony, innocence, warm privacy, of “being home”, feelings that come from understanding the space and working with it.

We envisioned a new quality space which addresses in practical terms the contemporary challenges of age, gender, social, religious and ethnic differences of the emerging global society.

AGORASCAPE should be seen as a continuously self generating lab project where art and technology, aesthetics and business, users and entrepreneurs are harmoniously brought together to CREATE.

COLPACCI MICLESCU architecten: info@cmarchitecten.com , www.cmarchitecten.com

Uzoni Studio:  maria@uzoni.com , www.uzoni.com

About Jonathan Vickery

I research the politics of contemporary culture, the role of culture in the public sphere, and cultural economy discourse in International Development. I also work as an art critic, editor and public speaker.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Agorascape – An architectural concept from CM architecten and Uzoni Studio of Amsterdam

  1. Excellent concept!
    I like it very much and would like to discuss with you ways of realisation.

    Posted by J.Anderson | February 20, 2012, 7:00 pm

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