ParaCity | A new model of city is built over the current city

#θέμα:  ParaCity | A new model of city is built over the current city 
#κατηγορία: e-Volo Competition 2014 
#συμμετέχοντες: Μεγαρίτου Μ., Παπασπύρου Σ.,Τασιούλα Ί 
#σχολή φοίτησης: Αρχιτεκτόνων μηχανικών ΕΜΠ 
#χρονολογία: 01/2014

             Contemporary city as we know it is facing several problems which are mainly associated with the increase of urban population and the high levels of pollution.
             Pollution is a big issue of our days. Big cities are mainly threatened by air pollution caused by heavy industry, cars’ emissions, etc. As there are not enough green spaces, air isn’t being filtered and as a result many people suffer from diseases associated with bad air quality. Moreover, heavy industries from the city suburbs pollute the soil and water which is making farming quite impossible in or near big cities.
            Overpopulation is a problem concerning all over the world. Specifically, “by 2050, 70% of the population will be urban”[1]. As a result of the continuous population growth, it is expected that more and more people will end up living in cities. Big cities or megacities will be even bigger as the years go by. Cities’ expansion will continue so that they can welcome the increased amount of people who are moving there. This leads to either the need of taller buildings (even skyscrapers) or a phenomenon called the urban sprawl. Urban sprawl makes the city expand disorderly and therefore occupy a bigger surface than it used to. And yet as opposed to megacities, there are some cities that tend to be deserted. Diverse factors either caused by nature such as climate change or earthquakes, or caused by man such as decline of industry or a constant movement towards the suburbs result in shrinking cities. (Detroit, Venice etc.) We can’t help but notice that the cities’ future seems ominous as by 2100 there are bound to be either overpopulated megacities or deserted cities threatened by extinction.


2100: failure of city model as we know it. Expanded megacities facing overpopulation. At the same time more and more cities tend to be abandoned therefore leaving us with empty building shells.

A new model of "city" was built over the current city.

            Our concept is to design a city over the remnants of the old city, a system that takes advantage of the existing building stock, grows geometrically on it and might replace it in the future. The occasion of this idea is the history that surrounds Athens which, since ancient Greece, has been developing in layers and in its underground someone could discover every period of its history. (diagram)
            Thus, aboveground this time,     we add another layer in the stratification, the ParaCity with the ambition to restrain urban sprawl, cities' abandonment and overpopulation.
            ParaCity "climbs" on the constructive grid of the ruins and expands horizontally above the ground. It consists of rectangular boxes that multiply depending the need and designate residential, public and farming places. The container boxes are colored so they differentiate from the deserted grey city. On one hand, the boxes create a complex formation, the residential typologies (growth in height) and on the other hand, extensive surfaces for free spaces which include parks, long walks, water tanks and farms (growth in length).
            A very important factor of the design is the environmental behavior of the construction. Therefore, using existing building stock save us material expenditure, while placing free spaces in the heart of the system give us back the lost, due to the urban sprawl, free space and bring users closer to nature, providing them the opportunity to derive a series of basic products. Secondly, as it is shown in the diagrams, the boxes are used as collectors of water and solar energy which is distributed equally for residential, public and farming purposes.

[1] According to a survey, run by unicef.

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