Urban Filigree

Urban Filigree; Paris, France, 2014

Team: Adrian Aguirre & Gerry Cruz (gerrycruz.net)

“If you think about voids instead of working with the solid elements, the truth appears… the art of the structure is how and where to put the holes… strength but not weight.”*(A)

From some geometrical variations Urban Filigree responds to a series of basic notions, (a) the high redundancy of circulation on the proposed city which runs parallel to the river {vehicular (cars-boats) and pedestrian}, (b) the contemplative phenomenon consequent from water and floating structures and (c) an open plan space as a consequential of a geometrical system of grid patterns based on a certain number of members for the required programmatic area, and a tri-axial network based on repetition and deformation.

(a) Parallel circulations to the river are broken, Urban Filigree disrupts linearity; a perpendicular force disturbs and enables visual tension with its context, creating communal exterior spaces, green areas, circulation paths. “Our objective may not be at all how to structure, but how to structure circulations”**(B)

(b) A water landmark, responding to the natural-artificial conditions of the site, enabling human interaction adding complexity to a multifaceted site.

(c) Baron Haussmann carried out a renovation of public spaces; boulevards and squares were created with a strong linearity, connecting landmarks. Urban edge as a basic structure-geometry was created following a natural system, where programme and extended programme respond to a Fibonacci system, a nature based sequence {Each subsequent number in the Fibonacci sequence is the sum of the previous two (Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2)}. The voids/additions were alternated, decomposing the whole structure into external areas, circulation, and services.

In parallel to these general strategies, specific approaches where developed applying the same framework of grid/cell and the Fibonacci sequence. Interior partitions, programme distribution, external circulation, green areas, a underwater structural system which treats the surrounding water with lemna minor (feeds on organic waste and reduces contaminating organisms), fixed/ loose furniture and a lighting strategy, creating a coherent and consistent system of architecture and design.

* **Robert Le Ricolais. Visions and paradox. Fundación Cultural COAM. Madrid 1997.