Logistical Activities Zone.

Barcelona

COMPETITION, 1996 ARCHITECT: Stan Allen

ASSISTED BY: Celine Parmentier, Tsuto Sakamoto, Adriana Nacheva, and Troels Rugbjerg

User's Manual research and layout by Nona Yehia

The municipality of Barcelona intends to divert the LLobregat River and extend its existing port facilities. An open international competition was held in 1996 for the Logistical Activities Zone (ZAL) adjacent to the new port area. We took this competition as an opportunity to examine the potentials of an infrastructural urbanism. Our design strategy consisted of setting down the traces of an architectural infrastructure that would allow flexible development while maintaining unified identity: a directed field within which the future life of the site could unfold; an architectural means to impose minimal although precise limits on future construction.

Refusing the chaos of the suburban landscape without resorting to nostalgic urban patterns, we sought an order specific to the open zones at the edge of the city. Two prototypical strategies were proposed: a division of land that recognizes the presence of nature and maintains open green space; a continuous architectural infrastructure that will allow flexible development while maintaining unified identity.

Although developed initially by means of conventional representational techniques (plans, sections, and models) the elaboration of the project required new representational strategies. The diagrams, maps, scores, and scripts that anticipate the event structure of the site over time have been compiled into a User's Manual. In the infrastructural approach, limits to future development are set materially, and not through codes, zoning, or bureaucratic limits. Hence, the role of the notational schemas collected here is not to set limits but to imagine multiple program scenarios and to

LEFT: Sketch of structure

OPPOSITE: Model: infrastructural roof

73

chart their interaction. These n~tations do not so much map an exact correspondence between architecture and activity as articulate a degree of play between form and event, a loose fit of organization and program.

1. SURFACES

Borrowing a concept from landscape ecology, the given surface area of the site is organized into patches and corridors. Patches are defined as nonlinear surface areas-in this case either green areas where a return to indigenous habitat is encouraged or built-up areas to accommodate the new programs.' Corridors are infrastructural pathways containing movement, services, and function. The superposition of these two systems creates a mosaic of natural and artificial surfaces.

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

2. MOVEMENT

Boundary and through roads are connected into the present system of urban circulation. To facilitate connection with the ZAL, the primary circulation is on uninterrupted east-west routes. Secondary circulation is by means of local connecting roads aligned with the disjunctive network of patches. Pedestrian movement is at an upper level within the depths of trusses supporting a continuous roof structure.

3. PROGRAM

Four broad programmatic categories are proposed: work (workshops and ateliers for artists and artisans); display (showrooms and other exhibition facilities), service (vehicle services, hotel and office space); and recreation (sports facilities and open green spaces for leisure and events). Individual patches are programmed in relation to access, adjacency, and proximity to services.

74

4. PATCH TYPOLOGIES

Instead of specific design proposals for future occupation of the site, a series of loose organizational typologies are proposed. Depending on density and organization, patches might function as habitat, barrier, filter, source, or sink for future activity. Scale and density of architectural occupation in turn suggests possible programs.

5. INFRASTRUCTURE

The architectural space of the patches is articulated by a continuous roof structure supported on a regular grid of thin steel

LEFT: View of existing site

OPPOSITE: Pian: montage of scenarios

columns. This infrastructural element is adaptable and flexible. A lightweight fabric covering can be added to shelter public spaces or outdoor service areas, and where buildings are proposed it can be integrated into the structural system as sunbreak or service space.

Taking an op.timistic view of the future of the site, this project anticipates the participation of different architects, agencies, and individuals in the construction of the site. It seeks to establish a realistic framework within which these collective contributions can be organized and coordinated. Working not with the bureaucratic tools of zoning-regulations or codes-it seeks to establish precise technical and instrumental limits to future construction. By creating a structured field condition that is architecturally specific yet programatically indeterminate, the future life of the site is free to unfold beyond the fixed limits of a masterplan.

NOTES

1. "We may define patch as a non-linear surface area differing in appearance from its surroundinqs.i.T'atches are often embedded in a matrix, a surrounding area that has a different species, structure, or occupation." Richard T. T. Forman and Michael Godron, Landscape Ecology (New York: Wiley, 1986),83.

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

76

ABOVE: Partial model

RIG HT: Roof from below

OPPOSITE ANO FOLLOWING PAGES: User's Manual

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

surface

division and allocation of surfaces

2 service

provision ot services to support future programs

3 organization

spatial and formal models

1A Patches
1B Matrix
1C Mosaic
10 Extent
2A Pathways
2B Program
2C Flow/Movement/Exchange
20 Service Grids
3A Edgl'sandBoundaries
3B Affiliation
3C Corridors and Connectivity
40 Networks barcelona manual

STRUCTURE

Patches Matrix Mosaic Extent

Infrastructural Roof Occupied Structure Space/Frame

Roof Typologies

FUNCTIONING

Patches Matrix Mosaic Extent

Pathways

Program Flow/Movement/Exchange Service Grids

Edqes and Boundaries Affiliation

Corridors and Connectivity Networks

Infrastructural Roof Occupied Structure Space/Frame

Roof Typologies

4 structure 4A Infrastructural Roof
catalog of tectonic variations 48 Occupied Structure
4C Space f Frame
40 Roof Typologies
5 repetition 5A Detail Design Elements
typologies and programs 5B Patch Typologies 1
5C Patch Typologies 2
5D Fields-vari(ltion/ repetition
6 anticipation 6A Event Scaffold
changing life of the site in time 68 Passive Programs
6C Active
60 Program Scores Event Scaffold Passive Programs Active

Program Scores

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

77

CHANGE

Patches Matrix Mosaic Extent

Pathways

Program Flow/Movement{Exchange Service Grids

Detail Design Elements Patch Typologies 1

Patch Typologies 2 Fields-variation I repetition

Event Scaffold Passive Programs Active Programs Program Scores

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QUILTING PATTERNS

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LOCATION PLAN

1. Infrastructure works not so much to propose specific buildings on given sites, but to construct the site itself. Infrastructure prepares the ground for future building, and creates the conditions for future events. Its primary modes of operation are:

1. The division, allocation and construction of surfaces

2. The provision of services to support future programs

3. The establishment of networks for movement, communication and exchange

Infrastructure's medium is geography.

1 B SURFACE

MATRIX

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GREEN MATRIX

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79

1D SURFACE

EXTENT

OVERVIEW OF SITE

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URBAN CONTEXT DIAGRAM

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JOHN CAGE'S SCORE FOR FONTANA MIX

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MARUTSERVICES

NOTATIONS:

TradItIonal representaucru presume stable objects and fix~d subjects. But the contemporary city is not reducible to an artifact. Th~ city is a place whtr~ visible and mvisiblest(eamsofinformatio .... (3pitaI3ndsubj~cts.mteract In complex formatiOnS. They form a dispersed fireld, a network of flows. In order to describ~ or to intervene in !hl~ new field W~ need repre~nt3tlonall~hmqu~s that engage tim~ and chanqe, shifting scales, mobile points of vrew and multiple programs. In order to map this complexity, some measure Df control may havt to be reunql.lish~d_ To open architectural representanon to the score, the map, the diagram and the script could establish a basis for ~xchange with other disciplines such as film. music and performance. The score allows for the simultaneous presentation and intelplayofinfOlm~tion in diverse s(ales.on shifting cccnfinates and even ofdiffellnglinguistic<:O-des. The script allows the designer to engageprogram.eyentandtlmeons~cificallvarchitec_ tvral terms. New maps and diagrams might begin to suqqest new ways of working with the complex dynamics of th~contempor.rrycity.

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ERECTING SHOP

2A SERVICE

PATHWAYS

AERIAL VIEW

2: Infrastructural work recogni,zes t,he c~lIective nature of the city, and allows for the participation of multiple authors. Infrastructures give direction to future work in the city not by the establishment of rules or c~des(top-d.own), but by ,fixing points of service, access and structure (bottom-up). Infrastructure creates a dlrectlo~al. field, w~ere different architects and designers can contribute. but it sets technical and instrumental limits to their work. Infrastructure itself works strategically, but it encourages tactical improvisation.

28 SERVICE

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MODEl DETAIL

2. Although static in and of themselves, infrastructures organize and manage complex systems of flow, movement and exchange. Not only do they provide a network of pathways, thye also work through systems of locks, gates and valves - a series of checks that control and regulate flow

KAHN FLOW DIAGRAM

81

2D SERVICE

SERVICE GRIDS

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

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QUilTING PATTERNS

PERFORMANCE:

This project marks a Shift away from rssoes of representation to engag~ architecture as a MATERIAL PRACTIU. Material practices. (ecology. or engineering for exampie) do not work primarily with images Of meaning but with P£RFORMAIlCE: energy inputs and outputs, the c31- ibrationofforccandresiSlancc.Thcyarelessconcerncd with what things look like and more concerned with what they can do. Material practices do not attempt to control or predetermine meaning. Instead. they go beyond the paradoxes of the linguistic to examine the ettects of signifying practices on certorrnance and behavior. Although these material practices work instrumentally, they are ncr limited to the direct manipulationofgi~nmaterial.lnsteadtheyprojCl:ttransfo[mationsofreahty by means of abstract tCl:hniquessuch as notation, simulallOn or calculation.

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aUILTING PATTERNS

3A ORGANIZATION

EDGES + BOUNDARIES

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH OF SITE

3,.lnfrastructures accomodate local contigency while maintaining overall continuity. In the design of highways, bridges, canals or aqueducts, for example, an extensive catalogue of strategies exist to accomodate irregularities in the terrain ~doglegs, viaducts: ~Ioverleaves, switchba~ks, etc.) which are creatively ~mployed to accomodate existinq cond.itlOns while maintaininq functional continuity. Infrasructure's default condition is regularity - in the desert. the hlghwa.y rU.ns. st~aight. Infrastructures are above all pragmatic. Because it operates instrumentally, tnfrastructural desl~n IS .lndlfferent to formal debates. Invested neither in (ideal) regularity or in (disjunctive) Irregularity, the desiqner IS free to employ whatever works in the particular conditions.

3B ORGANIZATION

AFFILIATION

INfRA$TRUCTURAlROOF

PINWHEEL TYPOLOGY, OFFICES

BLOCK TYPOLOGY:

LIGHT INDUSTRIAL

MAT TYPOLOGY ARTISANS HOUSING + wORKSHOPS

SURFACE PATCHES

PARTIAL SITE AXONOMETRIC

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

PAVED SURfACES

MOVEMENT NOTATION

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3C ORGANIZATION

CORRIDORS + CONNECTIVITY

83

3D ORGANIZATION

NETWORK

SIH NETwORKS

4, Formal description of infra structural systems: infrastructures tend to be hierarchical and tree-like, however there are effects of scale _ a capillary effect when the elements get very numerous and ve~ small - and the ~ffects of syn~rgy, when systems overlap and interchange, both of which tend to produce field conditions that work against an excluslvelv vectorial organization of infrastructural systems .

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

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4A STRUCTURE

INFRASTRUCTURAL ROOF

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48 STRUCTURE

OCCUPIED STRUCTURE

4C STRUCTURE

SPACE I FRAM E

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4D STRUCTURE

ROOF TYPOLOGIES

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1, The variables in organizational diagrom~ include formal and progrqammatic configurations: space and event. force and resistance, densttv, distribution and direction. Organization always implies both program and its distribution in space. bypassing conventional dichotomies of function vs. form or form vs. content. A diagram is not a thing in itself. but rather a description of potential relationshlps amonq elements.

DIOEROT: MILITARY fORMULATIONS

Notations include nme as a variable. It is not an accident that notations figure most significantlv in that arts that unfold In tirne.mvsic, dance, theater. If we allow. along with Paul Virilio. that the liflo of the city and Its expenence belongs more today to time than to space ("Now speed--ublqultV, instantaneousness -dissolves the CltV, or rather displaC"Cs it. in time"], the special capacity of notatton to make the thematic the measurement and unfolding ct ume takes on a special Importance: mterval, euranon. tempo, arceleraricn. repetition and accumulation are key v'Hiables in the notational schema.

11111111

5A REPETITION

DETAIL DESIGN ELEMENTS

2. Unlike claSSlcaltheolles based on imitation. diagrams do not map or represent alreadvHlsttng objects or systems but anticipate new organiziittons and specifyyet to be realized relatlcnshrps. rnevare not Slmplv a reduction from an ~~Istlng order: their abstrscncn is instrum~ntal, not an end In 'tself. S,mphfltd and highly qrapmc. they can be loosetv interpreted. Th~V WOI~ as "abstract machmes" and do not resemble whalthey produce.

5. Infrastructures allow detailed design of typical elements or repetitive structures, facilitating an architectural approach to urbanism. Instead of moving always down in scale from the general to the specific, infrastructural design begins with the precise delineation of specific systems within specific limits. Unlike other models, (planning codes or typological norms for example), that tend to schematize and regulate architectural form, and work by prohibition, the limits to architectural design in infrastructural complexes are technical and instrumental. In infrastructural urbanism, form matters, but more for what it can do than for what it looks like.

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5B REPETITION

PATCH TYPOLOGIES'

3. Diagriims are not "decoded" acrording \0 univer~al conventions;rather.therelationshipsaretriinsposedmoved part bV part lntc a new crqanuanooat context "Whereas translation excrcees an particularsin favor of a general equivalent, the transposition of media is accomplished seriiilly.atdiscrett points. I. 1 Because the number of elements and the rules of assuciation are h.rdlvever identical. everv transposition is to a degree arbntrarv, a manipulation. n cao appeal to nothing universal and must therefore leave giiPS:

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FIELDS-VARIATION I REPETITION

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ANTICIPATION:

Notatlons describe a work that is yet to be realized Evenjfalreadyp~rformed.thewofkdescfl~disoptnta interpretation and change in the course nf future perIormance In this sense. natation is optimistic and anticipatolV-UnlikedaSSICiItheartesofmlmeses.noti_ tlcns do nat map or represent .Ireadyexisitng objects or systems but anticipate new Ofganizatlons and sptcify yet to be realized rclationships. Notation is not about interrcqancn, critique Of com menta IV. These "critica)"practi~utililenatation·sdiscursivecapaci_ ties only in retrospect. (pointing out what IS wrong with nistingrealitylwhereasnotatian'smareradicalpossi_ bility lies m the possibility of proposing alternative realities. Notation'S spectat properties can be e;o;poited by the urban designer' to produce a kind of "directed indeterminancy:" crcpcsars that are robust and specific enough to sustain change over lime. yet open enough to support multiple interpretations,

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6A ANTICIPATION

EVENT SCAFFOLD

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6. Infrastructur~s are. flexible and anticipatory. They work with time and are open to change. By specifying what must be fixed and what Is.sub!ect to change, they can be precisea~d indeterminate at the same time. they work through management an.d cultivation, ch~ngJng slowly to adjust to shifting c.ondlt~ons. They do not progress toward a predetermined state (as with master planning strategies), but are always evolving within a loose envelope of constraints

68 ANTICIPATION

PASSIVE PROGRAMS

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PASSIVE PROGRAMS

l n fr a s t r u c tu r a l Urbanism BARCELONA

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PERFORMANCE

ThIS project marks a shif\ away from .ssves otreoresentation.toengagearchitectureasamaterialpractree. Material practices. (ecolagy. or engineering fa • example) do not work primarily with images 0' meaning but ..... ith performance: energy inputs and outputs. the caubrauon of force and resistanceIhev are less concerned ..... ith what things look like and more concerned with what they can do. Material practices do not attempt to control or predetermine meaning_Instead. they go beyond the paradoxes of the linguistic to examine the effects of signifying practices on performance and behavior, Although these material practices work instrumentally. they are not limited to the direct manipulation of given material. Instead they project transformations of reality by means of abstract techniques such as notation. simulation or calculation

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COLLECTIVE:

Notations presume a social context. and sh.red (onven!tOnsoflnt~rpletatIOIl. Thescoreisnotaworkitself. hut a set ofinstructrons for performing a wo,k. A score cannot be a private language. It WOI~S instrum~ntally to coordinate the actions of mulnple ptrformcrs who ccnectiverv prodoce the work as event. As a model for optratlnginthecl\y.thecolicctivecharacterofnotalion is highly suggestive. Going beyond transgression and cross-programming. notations could function to map the complex and rnnetermtnate theater of e~elVday life In the city. Ihe use of notation might provoke a shift from the prcducnoo of space to the performance of space

6C ANTICIPATION

ACTIVE

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ACTIVE PROGRAMS

89

6D ANTICIPATION

PROGRAM SCORES

Infrastructural Urbanism BARCELONA

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