Speculative Models for the Present

X:

Y:

P[01]UNOG

Location

Genève [Switzerland]

Year

2012 - 2014

Role

Project architect
Architectural direction

Company

group8

Client

FIPOI
United Nations Organisation

Output

Restored building
Automated energy management system

Sometimes everything must change so that everything can stay the same.

-The Leopard- Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

As an architect at the firm group8, I participated in the setup and development of the project from its early stage and progressively gained managerial responsibilities including:

01.

Extensive Architectural Survey

02.

Architectural Direction

03.

Execution Plans

04.

Works Direction

05.

Authorisation to Build

06.

Planning

07.

Stakeholder Coordination

08.

Industrial Prototyping, Control, and Validation

In a demonstration of its commitment to the Strategic Heritage Plan, the Swiss Federal Council participated in the renovation of the “Palais des Nations” through a voluntary contribution of CHF 50 million (US$54.7 million). The aim of the renovation project was to bring The United Nations Palace – the second-largest office building in Europe – into line with the concept of a “green building,” reaching a high-energy performance standard. In addition to the energy criterion, the project focused on the conservation of this unique site, its architectural heritage, and, in particular, the harmony of its existing facades.

The renovation project was developed over the course of two years while the palace remained completely operative. In addition to the traditional complexities attached to architectural renovation, the project involved an extra layer of security protocols, standards, and bureaucracy.

C[01]Envelope as Interface

A building’s envelope is its interface with the outside world. Understanding how the Palace exchanged energy with its environment was the first challenge of the project. After a detailed study of energy loss through each one of the elements that conform the envelope, we defined a strategy to obtain the maximum energy-saving impact while staying within the available budget.

Building’s envelope elements

01.

External walls

02.

Underground walls

03.

Exterior floor raft

04.

Roofs

05.

Windows glass

06.

Canopies glass

07.

Thermal bridges

C[02] Strategic Interventions

The total energy savings per year accounted for 9.600.000KWH distributed across several interventions that included:

[01]Window Replacement

[02]Canopy Replacement

[03]Roof insulation, Thermal and Photovoltaic Panels Installation

An automated energy management system was set up to regulate the use of the above mentioned elements in order to maximise energy gains while securing comfort and habitability standards.

C[02]A Descriptive Model to Secure the Future

The project involved extensive data collection, structuring, and classification for the generation of a descriptive informational and spatial model. I was the main person responsible for the definition, generation, maintenance, and continuous update of a taxonomy of 2,000 windows, including somewhere around 50,000 data entry points which were the key instruments used to define the construction detail system and manage production.

The Palace accounts for

01.

1.7 lineal km of facade

02.

17,700 m2 of roof surface

03.

40,000 m2 of facade surface

04.

7,700 m2 of window surface

C[03]The Devil is in the Detail

I also led the architectural survey and construction details production for more than 1,000 exact replicas, replacing the original windows which dated back to 1923. The replicas – manufactured and installed by the Dutch company MHB – were upgraded with highly performant and thermally insulated profiles to comply with Switzerland’s strict energy-saving requirements regarding insulation, wind, and waterproofing.

C[04]Output

 

 

 

 

Projects

Description

Client

P[09]Bio-Fold
FRAKTA Fetish for a Biodegradable Material Culture

IKEA: SPACE10

[+]

Bio-Fold stands at the intersection of material technology and cultural strategy. It deals with critical global issues such as plastic waste, soil scarcity, and deforestation due to agricultural development. Playing with cultural heritage, the project uses FRAKTA, IKEA’s iconic tote bag, as a symbolic device for the introduction of an already existing technology: vacuum bagging, in this case applied to biocomposite materials.

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Copenhagen [Denmark]

Year

2019 - Present

Output

Fabrication method | Digital interface

P[08]Seiche
Automated Bureaucracy as a Pathway to Fluid Citizenship

Strelka Institute: The New Normal

[+]

Overlapping jurisdictions and supranational infrastructures generate an increasingly complex network topology; the design, management, and mapping of their interactions is therefore a crucial task. Seiche is a speculative proposal for a visual programming platform enabling the definition and management of techno-legal procedures of information exchange between institutions that regulate such systems and the organisations that operate within.

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Khorgos [Kazakhstan]

Year

2018 - Present

Output

Speculative short film | Article | Interactive installation

P[07]Siren
Audiovisual Arctic Poem on Connective Alienation

Strelka Institute: The New Normal

[+]

Siren oscillates between the silence of the now deserted destination node of Magadan and the fullness of the fragmented archives that capture its evolution from a place of extraction to a place of archive. It emerges from statistical and interview-based research into port automation and the global inversion of gender patterns in supply chain employment...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Kolyma [Russia]

Year

2018

Output

Speculative short film

P[06]Æffect
Acid Infused Journal on Innovation Management

UAL: Central Saint Martins

[+]

Æffect grew as a bottom-up student-led initiative to create a strong and self-perpetuating community connecting innovation management students at CSM with alumni, staff and industry leaders through a mentorship scheme, an academic journal and web platform...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2017 - 2018

Output

Mentorship scheme | Academic journal | Web platform

P[05]Electric Cloud
Decentralised Networks of Energy Exchange

EDF: Électricité de France

[+]

The combined disruption of smart home devices and decentralised energy production and storage systems favour a progressive switch to ‘prosumerism’ in the energy market. Electric Cloud provided a strategy for EDF to adopt an ambivalent position as managers and traders in energy exchange networks, a role that would help them thrive in both a centralised or decentralised scenario...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2016 - 2017

Output

Business model | Strategic road map

P[04]Critical Firm
Political Conflict as a Business Strategy in the Age of Purpose

Self-directed

[+]

With ongoing, deep, systemic trust crises across western societies, the rise of populist politics can be understood as a failure of corporate social responsibility - the hegemonic identity of the corporate establishment during the last two decades - to engage extensive sectors of a highly polarised population. To reinstate trust among those sectors, the corporate world needs to perform a parallelism that offers symbolic resolutions to the ongoing societal tensions...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2016 - 2017

Output

Strategic report | System map

P[03]Discourse on Trends
Assembly Toolkit for Authenticity in the Digital Fluid

Self-directed

[+]

A shift towards fluidity in the discourse of authenticity in gender, sexual, and racial identity has already established the generating of a new structure of power and knowledge. As technology continues to dilute the lines between physical and digital space and persona, a new regime of truth on authenticity and identity around fluidity between physical and digital environments will follow…

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2016 - 2017

Output

Strategic report | System map

P[02]Radical Swissness
An Architectural Framework for the Swiss Vernacular

group8

[+]

Define and perfection a framework and methodology for the development of architectural competitions within the Swiss context (a.k.a. domesticating the creative willpower of multidisciplinar international teams to fit the swiss vernacular...

[ ]See Full Project

Location:

Genève [Switzerland]

Year:

2014-2015

Output:

Architectural competition [with several awards]

P[01]UNOG
Energetic Renovation of the United Nations Palace

group8

[+]

In a demonstration of its commitment to the Strategic Heritage Plan, the Swiss Federal Council participated in the renovation of the “Palais des Nations” through a voluntary contribution of CHF 50 million. The aim of the renovation project was to bring The United Nations Palace into line with the concept of a "green building"...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Genève [Switzerland]

Year

2012 - 2014

Output

Restored building | Automated energy management system