Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bug Dome

Bug Dome
WEAK! For SZHK Biennale 2009

The Bug Dome touches the following 5 elements.

Accident is greater than human control. Designer must be present in order to understand the constructive dynamics of accident. To be present is the key of all art. Accident is calling the designer to get out of the office. Accident is beyond human control, and thus insulting to the industrial mind. Usually we call this a human error.

One has to die a bit to be reborn. One will not get closer to nature by sitting in an air-conditioned office. The ultimate reason of nature is not to keep the air-conditioning on. Nature has one rule: existence maximum. Man has one identity: nature. Everything else is style and needs therapy. A bear has hair, because it is hairy – not because somebody would have designed so. Design cannot replace reality. Real reality cannot be speculated; it is total. Fish will run up to the river without us thinking on it. Fish is real.

Industrial city is an anti-acupuncture needle in the life providing system of nature. Industrial city must be ruined; city must become part of nature. China has a big migration going on from the rural areas to the industrial cities. These hands can bring in the solution. Industrial city will be ruined by human nature. Modern man must be ruined.

Bug Dome is in the same time a shelter and a mediator between the modern man and nature. Shelter is the seed of architecture. Bug Dome is growing from this seed. It is looking around at the surrounding city. Maybe it grows bigger and eats the city. One of these days these streets are going to get organized.

Design follows drama. Social drama brings human nature to the street level. Bug Dome is a hidden theatre, cave and a temple where the construction workers are building up a fire day after day. The revolution is not yet complete. Comrades, you should still keep working.
SZHKB curator Ou Ning @ Bug Dome with Marco Casagrande, Wei & Wei and Shenzhen Daily editor.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Бамбуковый приют для джунглей из бетона, стали и стекла. Китай.

“Пусть исполнится то, что задумано. Пусть они поверят. И пусть посмеются над своими страстями; ведь то, что они называют страстью, на самом деле не душевная энергия, а лишь трение между душой и внешним миром. А главное, пусть поверят в себя и станут беспомощными, как дети, потому что слабость велика, а сила ничтожна”.

“Сталкер”, Андрей Тарковский

Еще один творческий месседж с Биеннале урбанизма и архитектуры (Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture). Группа архитекторов, объединившихся в рамках проектной работы под именем СЛАБЫЙ! (WEAK!) поставила бамбуковый приют прямо у подножия искусственных городских джунглей.

Проект называется Bug Dome - вероятно, это можно перевести как “Купол для насекомых”.

К созданию конструкции приложили руки Марко Касагранде (Marco Casagrande) из финского бюро Си-Лаборатория (C-Laboratory), а также архитекторы Хсье Инг-чун (Hsieh Ying-chun) и Роан Синг-йе (Roan Ching-yueh).

Купол сделан из гибкого бамбука, внутри - сцена для музыкальных перформансов, чтения поэзии и караоке. В центре бамбукового купола можно разжечь костер.

“Здание” построено на месте снесенного дома, между городской мэрией и лагерем нелегальных рабочих.

Дизайн вдохновлен насекомыми.

При строительстве конструкции использовались методики, принесенные в эту местность приезжими рабочими-строителями.

После биеннале здание продолжит свое существование как социальный клуб для рабочих-нелегалов, приезжающих в город из китайских провинций.

Здание выросло из руин. И архитектор - лишь слабое звено, посредник между природой человека и природой этого мира.

Кокон - это маленькое убежище, приют для человека, задыхающегося во взрывной силе урбанизации. Это приют, защищающий насекомых индустриальной эпохи от искусственной жизни.

Когда зажигается огонь, общество рождается вновь. Нужно обладать большой смелостью, чтобы совершить путешествие на тысячу лет назад и понять, что главные вещи остались неизменными…

В статье использованы иллюстрации с сайта:


СЛАБЫЙ! (WEAK!) - Хсье Инг-чун (Hsieh Ying-chun), Роан Синг-йе (Roan Ching-yueh)и Марко Касагранде (Marco Casagrande) из финского бюро Си-Лаборатория (C-Laboratory.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Text by Robin Peckham
- Kunsthalle Kowloon

As mentioned previously, one of the densest and most ambivalent projects in the 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture is the “Bug Dome” pavilion installed on the outdoor space northeast of the Shenzhen Civic Center. The sculptural space is designed by WEAK! Architects, a collective consisting of Hsieh Ying-Chun, the Taiwanese architect best known for his philosophy of architecture as social activism, Roan Ching-Yueh, a Taiwanese architectural curator dealing with many of the same issues, and Marco Casagrande, a Finnish architect interested in structural ecologies and all manner of new age theories of spiritual construction.

Bug Dome by the WEAK! architects (Marco Casagrande, Hsieh Ying-Chun and Roan Ching-Yueh) in the SZHK Biennale 2009.

Their project here is formally interesting, forming a loosely woven shell amenable to both open air performances and more casual social activities along the lines of Hsieh Ying-Chun’s former projects with tent-based amphitheaters in suburban Taipei. Its shape recalls a partially submerged cicada skin, semi-translucent and emerging organically from the ground. It is constructed of solid bamboo ribs shaped into arches perpendicular to the length of the sculpture, while thinner strips of bamboo are woven between these ribs. Broken bricks and mud lend support like primitive buttresses. Although it is physically possible to enter from either end, one side houses a flat stage, and the remaining ground surface is covered with small stones that conceal upward-facing electric lights. The structure is immediately placed on an overgrown construction site immediately abutting a residential camp for temporary workers, but the skyscrapers and official municipal buildings of Shenzhen are visible on the remaining three sides.

I first experienced the “Bug Dome” one day before the official opening, when project curator Xu Ya-Zhu invited the Taiwanese participants in the biennale to host a small event in and around the structure. Unfortunately Hong Kong poets Liang Wendao and Liu Wai Tong did not make it in time for their scheduled readings, so instead a discussion with the architects was held on the makeshift stage. The ensuing conversation strayed quite far from the subtle aesthetic ambiguities of the project itself, and several participants proceeded to negate the urban experience with an at times naive and utopian tirade on the merits of rural communities. Notably, Roan Ching-Yueh mentioned that architecture has no reason to become remain as complicated as it has become, that civilization did not appear out of a vacuum in the early 20th century, and that there is no reason to pay the government to dispose of our waste.


All three of these architects deserve the utmost respect for their suspicion of breakneck urbanization and Futurist urbanism, and even more so for their willingness to work with vernacular materials and styles in the service of disadvantaged rural communities. Some of their projects, including Marco Casagrande’s work on the Treasure Hill area in Taipei, have been absolutely groundbreaking in terms of how we think about the limits of growth for the Chinese cities of the future. But an inability to accept multiple planes of construction and levels of systemic integration is simply futile. The “Bug Dome” successfully negotiates the territory between the construction, metropolitan architecture, and rural past of Shenzhen, but it is not a habitable structure. It would be foolish to claim that this kind of work could represent any kind of solution–even theoretical–to the problems facing south China.

Thankfully, the architects also distributed a broadsheet paper called “Cicada” during the opening days of the biennale. (DOWNLOAD CICADA PDF) The textual and visual materials contained therein lay out the discursive basis for these projects sensibly and realistically, a far cry from the rhetoric that led me to all but dismiss the pavilion during that opening event. In this conception, “weakness” is a form of architecture based on insect construction, rejecting engineering in favor of a bricolage that collects debris from around the site for its structural materials. In a remarkable conceptual move, the figure of the ruin is viewed as a form of third-generation urbanism in which the man-made is integrated into natural systems.

Bug Dome, sketch Marco Casagrande / WEAK!

WEAK! projects are thus paradoxical attempts at the design of ruins. In another project, the “Post-Industrial Fleet,” decommisioned commercial ships are berthed outside of Tianjin and inhabited as units for residence, recreation, and survival. What is at stake here is often the scale of the design of systems: although Roan Ching-Yueh may have overstated his case when he claimed that there is never a need to choose the “big system” over the “little system,” this is indeed a category of analysis to which more attention needs to be paid. This is something akin to open-source architecture, consisting of shanzhai hardware components that can be remixed and recombined according to the exigencies of the moment. In southern China, there may be no other way.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Guandu: River Urbanism

Marco Casagrande
The article is first published in the Taiwan Architect -magazine, October issue 2009.

The Taipei City Government Department of Urban Development is facing a serious challenge. The growing pressure of Taipei Basin has turned its focus towards the last natural wetland environment of the city – the Guandu Plain. Will Taipei repeat its industrial sins with the planning of Guandu, or is the urban narrative ready to take the next step onwards and develop a more environmentally harmonious co-existence between the city and the river? Will the future Guandu be a groundbreaking example of River Urbanism, or will Taipei now cut off its primeval roots towards the river for good?

Guandu plain of the Taipei Basin at the meeting point of the Danshui and Keelong Rivers.


The First Generation Taipei was completely dependent on the natural environment. The river was the main source of transportation and it provided a steady income of fish, clamps, crab etc. The rice farming culture in the Taipei Basin was based on man-made flooding imitating the natural pulses of the river nature. The surrounding mountains protected Taipei from the hardest hits of the Typhoons and fertilized the urban farms with topsoil generated by the composting process of the jungle. The citizens understood the environment through physical labour - the Local Knowledge of Taipei was environmental. People believed in Land-Gods and Goddess Matsu protecting the fishermen.


The Second Generation Taipei is the industrial city introduced by the Japanese. The essence of industrialism is the claim of independence from nature. Machine moves the boat, not wind. The river of the industrial Taipei turned rapidly into an industrial sewage and the fish, clamps, crab etc. moved away. The river smelled bad and it was flooding – it wanted to break the machine. The city built high walls and cut the river off from the urban narrative.

Industrialism was good. It reduced the pain of physical labour and the industrial city was almost painless, it was entertaining. This urban-industrial modern amusement park is the height of human civilization and also the second-generation Taipei was modern. The closer to nature you are, the less modern you will be. The end of the line is the un-civilized native – the savages living from the nature. Farmers are somewhere in-between, but they sweat too – so: not modern.

Neil Armstrong, Moon, 1969.

Now it is 40 years since Mr. Neil Armstrong went to moon. It is good to remember that he found a couple of rocks up there but was shocked when he looked back towards the Earth: the planet was alive. The white clouds emerged from the green jungles and were sailing on top of the blue oceans. The photos of the blue planet questioned the industrial mind. The cities looked on the living tissue like anti-acupuncture needles. There appeared grey and dead areas around the cities.
The cities looked like pouring poison into the nature.

Third Generation Taipei

As it is obvious that the industrial city is not necessarily the best life providing solution from the environmental point of view, the question arises: what is the Third Generation City?

Guandu will be asked this very question – how can it be the Third Generation Taipei?

The city authorities cannot answer this. The current private planning companies cannot answer this either. They are all crippled by the industrial past and the methodology of building a modern city as a reflection of an industrial mind. They have all gone to school where Neil Armstrong comes from.

A new generation is needed. At least a new generation of thinking. Planning is running after money and politicians for political future. Planners are pleasing the politicians and politicians are lacking the knowledge to make the decisions towards an environmentally sustainable urban future. What is then the new generation of thinking – who are the ones building the Third Generation Taipei?

Professor Yoshio Kato from the Tamkang University’s architecture department says, ”in the future architecture will be designed by writers”. Professor Kato is an expert of bio-climatic architecture and microclimates, a Japanese pioneer of ecological design. Kato is talking about a story, a plot – humane narrative that the industrial city has lost. The third generation Taipei must have a drama. It must stage a straightforward play between the modern man and nature. A play that runs according to the environmental conditions. A play that the citizens are taking part in to be sure that they are part of the environment and part of the urban narrative. Commedia Dell’Architettura. Sociologists are needed for this, cultural studies and theatre, poets, writers and cartoon artists.

Treasure Hill, a previously illegal community of urban farmers in Taipei.

Environmental technology is not the key to solve the ecological problems of the industrial city. Environmental technologies are just a tool. Local knowledge will give answers. Taipei has been an ”eco-city” before its industrial condition. Urban farming must continue. The city is blessed by urban farming pockets and enclaves in wastelands, riverbanks, ruins and abandoned construction sites. Grandmothers are farming in the street corners and on the roofs. Grandmothers are constantly tuning Taipei towards nature the same time, as their sons are playing busy in air-conditioned offices planning the ”eco-city” with environmental technology tricks and ecological jargon.

The case of Guandu and thus the case of Taipei is simple: the city must find a way to live as part of nature.

SGT: River City Guandu.

Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. In this way of thinking we must ruin the industrial city. The grandmothers are already ruining it. The city must be ruined by nature including human nature.

In Guandu we don’t necessarily have to plan the industrial city and then ruin it, but we can aim straight into the third generation condition: modern city as part of nature. The future Guandu should grow from the environment - this is landscape urbanism. The environment of Guandu is dominated by the river nature – so the new city should be River Urbanism, city growing from the river.

Urban planners cannot design a river city. River engineers are needed. Natural river restoration and river engineering should be a corner stone of the Future Guandu. Urban planning will then react on the understanding of the hydrological conditions.

Missis Chen, the Matriarch of Treasure Hill.

Engineers and urban planners are not enough. The place must have a story told by the people. Writers are needed and grandmothers. Also local knowledge still exists. The River City Guandu will not be build from zero, but it will continue from the first generation Taipei. City must be a compost. Fishermen, farmers and Land-Gods are needed for participatory planning.

River urbanism cannot be planned in a classical sense of urban planning. It must grow. Growing needs water. This is more like gardening than urban planning. Farming a city / urban farming.

Environmental technology is easy. It will follow all the above mentioned.

SGT Case Study

The Helsinki University of Technology runs an experimental research centre for cross-disciplinary research, design and case studies. The SGT Sustainable Global Technologies unit is directed by Professor Olli Varis, who is one of the world’s leading experts on global water resources. The urban river cases are very much in the focus of the future’s river engineering and natural river restoration as part of urban development. Also United Nations’ UN-HABITAT is looking for river urbanism cases. Guandu would be ideal for a UN-HABITAT location.

Gundu was presented as a case in SGT for a half-year research and design task for a cross-disciplinary croup of river engineers, architects and applied arts and future studies. The group ended up with a draft master plan for the future Guandu with approximately 150.000 citizens living and working in a river city.

The Guandu River City during the high water.

Some principal characteristics of the SGT solution for Guandu:

Guandu River
A new man-made river will be created through the Guandu plain providing clean water for the future residents. The new Guandu River will take most of its water from the polluted Keelong River and also collects streams from the surrounding mountains. The 7.2 km long river will act as a biological filter with different vegetation and filtering layers purifying the river water for residential use. The last part of the Guandu River with clean water is opened for recreational purposes having a beach and a holiday village.

Urban farming forms an essential part of the SGT’s Guandu solution.

Guandu Plain
The existing Danshui-Taipei highway will be moved into a waterproof double tunnel under the Guandu Plain in order to create a larger unified ecological area. Now the highway is splitting the Guandu plain in two halves. The Guandu plain is partly naturally restored and partly used for urban farming and biomass production. Bio-energy is recognized as a suitable source or renewable energy. Biomass will be grown first in the Guandu plain area and later along the Danshui and Keelong River flood banks.

The Guandu traffic solution including the sky-train connected to the existing MRT system and the highway tunnel.

An elevated Light Rail train will connect the different Guandu areas with the existing MRT network. Busses will serve areas where the LR or MRT stations are beyond a convenient walking distance. The existing bicycle and pedestrian routes are reinforced to include all the future Guadu.

Built human environment
The River City Guandu is based on the principle of free flooding. This means that there will be no floodwalls in the future Guandu, but architectural and infrastructure solutions will be reactions on the free flooding. The built areas will be elevated on 10 meters high landfill islands created by the highway tunnel and Guandu River constructions. Some of the housing will be floating.

Organic layers
The Guandu plain will be connected with the surrounding mountains with ecological corridors.

Urban farming will be a characteristic feature of the river city. Community gardens will extend to all areas of built environment.

Biomass production is viewed as a positive factor for the Taipei’s microclimate and as a source of renewable energy.

The wetland and mangrove nature is protected and other parts of the Guandu plain are naturally restored.


Guandu has the potential to be a world-class example of environmentally sustainable river urbanism. The urban solutions proved in Guandu will benefit the general ecological restoration of the Taipei Basin. UN-HABITAT could be considered as a partner for the Guandu development.

New kind of round table discussion methodology and participatory planning should be developed around the Guandu case in order to start cultivating the next generation knowledge building towards the third generation city.

The industrial-modernist solutions cannot be applied straight in the planning and development of Guandu. Industrialism has forgot the local knowledge and lost the social drama of the city. Guandu should turn back towards the local knowledge and forget the forgetting.

Sustainable Global Technologies Team:

Lasse Granroth (TAIK, applied arts and future studies)
Hanna-Sisko Hovila (TKK, architecture)
Francesco Mandrilli (Italy, water engineering)
Teemu Nurmi (TKK, water engineering)
Iina Valkeisenmäki (TKK, architecture)

Marco Casagrande
Frank Chen

SGT Cordinators:
Matleena Muhonen
Pamela Arslanbayrak

SGT Director:
Prof. Olli Varis

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Guandu: River Urbanism關渡的河川都市主義

Marco Casagrande
Translation/C.J. Anderson-Wu

The development of Taipei basin is beginning to threat the barely survived wetland in Guandu Plain, are the authorities repeating the mistakes of industrialization?

Guandu plain of Taipei Basin at the meeting point of the Danshui and Keelong Rivers.








台北新階段的發展必須要有一個戲劇舞台,讓當代人與自然有直接的關聯。這齣戲的發展必須以自然環境的條件為主軸,而民眾則在戲劇中理解自己是環境與都市的一部份。「建築的喜劇」(Commedia Dell’Architettura)需要社會學家、文化研究學者、詩人、作家和漫畫家一起演出。










永續地球科技(Sustainable Global Technologies, SGT)是赫爾辛基科技大學進行的跨學科實驗性研究、設計與案例實施,由歐里‧瓦利思(Olli Varis)教授主持。瓦利思教授是世界公認的權威水資源專家。由於河川提供都市珍貴的水資源,河川工程與復育將成為未來都市發展的主軸。隨著聯合國人居署(UN-HABITAT)對河川都市主義的重視,關渡也可能成有潛力的模範案例。




Urban farming forms an essential part of the SGT’s Guandu solution.






Lasse Granroth (應用藝術與未來學)
Hanna-Sisko Hovila (建築)
Francesco Mandrilli (水利工程)
Teemu Nurmi (水利工程)
Iina Valkeisenmäki (建築)

Marco Casagrande

SGT 協調人:
Matleena Muhonen
Pamela Arslanbayrak

SGT 主持人:
Prof. Olli Varis

The article is first published in the Taiwan Architect -magazine, October 2009.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chen House

ใครที่เป็นแฟนพันธุ์แท้ art4d น่าจะจำสถาปนิก/ศิลปินชาวฟินแลนด์ที่ชื่อ Marco Casagrande กันได้ จากการร่วมงานกับเพื่อนร่วมสัญชาติ Sami Rintala เมื่อประมาณสิบปีที่แล้ว ในผลงานที่ชื่อ Land(e)scape และ Slaughter Carnival (art4d no. 147) ครั้งนั้นสองคู่หูชาว Lapland ได้ร่วมกันออกแบบ art installation ที่ประกอบไปด้วยโรงนาเล็กๆสามหลัง แต่ละหลังวางบนแท่งไม้ผอมเพรียวสี่แท่ง ราวกับว่าโรงนาเหล่านั้นมีขาที่เรียวยาว และกำลังเดินทางย้ายออกจากชนบทมุ่งหน้าสู่เมืองหลวง เป็นการสะท้อนแบบขบนิดๆถึงชีวิตชนบทของชาวฟินนิชที่กำลังได้รับความนิยมแบบฮวบฮาบ และในตอนท้ายของการแสดง โครงสร้างเหล่านั้นก็ถูกจุดไฟเผาจนไหม้เป็นจุณ เป็นการไว้อาลัยให้กับการสูญเสียเสน่ห์อันงดงามและเรียบง่ายของสังคมนอกเมือง ความแรงของงานแบบเข้าตากรรมการนี้ส่งผลให้ทั้งคู่ได้รับรางวัล AR Awards for Emerging Architecture ซึ่งจัดโดยนิตยสาร Architecture Review ในปี 1999 มาครอบครอง

มาครานี้ ทศวรรษให้หลัง Marco Casagrande กลับมาเฉิดฉายบนหน้ากระดาษของ art4d อีกครั้งกับผลงานบ้านที่ใต้หวันในนาม Chen House อันเป็นการร่วมงานกับสถาปนิกท้องถิ่น Frank Chen เรื่องราวของบ้านน้อยหลังนี้เริ่มต้นจากการที่สามีภรรยาคู่หนึ่งต้องการที่จะใช้ชีวิตง่ายๆแบบตายายหลังเกษียณ ในไร่เชอร์รี่ญี่ปุ่นบนภูเขา Datun ในบริเวณ Sanjhih ทางด้านเหนือของประเทศใต้หวัน ทั้งคู่ตั้งใจที่จะย้ายออกจากตัวเมืองเข้าสู่ชนบทเพื่อหลีกหนีความสับสนวุ่นวายในเมือง กลับสู่ความสามัญ สงบ เรียบง่าย ของชีวิตแบบบ้านนอกๆ เมื่อนึกย้อนเปรียบเทียบกลับไปถึงเมื่อสิบปีที่แล้ว Chen House นับได้ว่าเป็นงานชนิดขั้วตรงข้ามกับ Land(e)scape อย่างเสียมิได้ และก็ไม่แน่ว่าโรงนาเล็กๆเหล่านั้น ถ้าไม่ถูกเผาวอดซะก่อน วันหนึ่งอาจจะเดินย้อนกลับมาสู่ชนบทอีกครั้งก็เป็นได้

สภาพที่ตั้งและดินฟ้าอากาศที่มิค่อยจะเป็นมิตรนักเป็นปัจจัยสำคัญที่เอื้อให้บ้านหลังนี้มีลักษณะที่น่่าสนใจ แทนที่จะออกแบบอาคารให้มีความแข็งแรงหนาหนักทึบตันดั่งป้อมปราการเพื่อต้านทานสภาวะอากาศอันเลวร้าย Casagrande และ Chen เลือกที่จะใช้เทคนิคสงบและนุ่มนวลเพื่อสยบความเคลื่อนไหว ตัวบ้านถูกออกแบบใ้ห้มีลักษณะโปร่ง โล่ง สบาย ด้วยพื้นไม้ตีเว้นร่องทั้งภายในและภายนอก เชื่อมต่อเลื่อนไหลถึงกันเป็นระนาบเดียวอย่างไม่มีอะไรมาหยุดยั้ง จะต่างกันก็แต่ส่วนพักอาศัยภายในนั้นมีเปลือกอาคารซึ่งก็ก่อสร้างด้วยวัสดุชนิดเดียวกันห่อหุ้มอยู่ ตัวผนังไม้มีการตีเว้นร่องเช่นเดียวกับพื้นไม้ เพื่อช่วยในการระบายอากาศและลดแรงปะทะจากลมพายุ โดยผนังที่ทำหน้าที่ห่อหุ้มพื้นที่กึ่งภายนอกของอาคารจะมีร่องที่ใหญ่กว่าผนังห่อหุ้มพื้นที่ภายใน ทำหน้าที่เป็นแผงกันแดดให้กับส่วนรับประทานอาหารภายนอกที่อยู่ทางด้านทิศเหนือของอาคาร ตัวบ้านที่ดูบางเบาราวกับจะเหิรสามารถรอดตัวจากใต้ฝุ่นและแผ่นดินไหวได้ด้วยส่วนพระรอง ซึ่งเป็นที่ตั้งของส่วนบริการที่ประกอบไปด้วย ห้องครัว ห้องน้ำ และซาวน่า (ไม่แน่ใจว่าเป็นเพราะว่าออกแบบโดยสถาปนิกชาวฟินแลนด์หรือเปล่าถึงต้องมีซาวน่า) เจ้าส่วนเล็กพริกขี้หนูนี้เองเป็นหัวใจหลักทางโครงสร้างที่ทำหน้าที่ค้ำยันส่วนโปร่งที่มีขนาดโตกว่า มองผาดๆแม้ว่ารูปลักษณ์ของตัวบ้านจะดูง่ายอย่างไม่น่าเชื่อ แต่นับว่า Casagrande และ Chen วางผังการใช้ประโยชน์ได้อย่างลงตัวและเป็นสัดส่วนทีเดียว

ทว่าความเลวร้ายของสภาวะที่ตั้งไม่ได้หยุดอยู่แค่พายุและแผ่นดินไหวเท่านั้น เฉกเช่นกุหลาบงามที่ย่อมต้องมีหนามแหลมคม วิวสวยๆของแม่น้ำ Datun ที่อยู่ใกล้ๆ ก็แอบแถมมาด้วยปริมาณน้ำที่เกินความจำเป็นในหน้าน้ำหลาก สองสถาปนิกคู่หูใช้วิธีการแก้ปัญหาแบบไทยๆด้วยการยกตัวบ้านให้สูงขึ้นจากระดับดินเพื่อหนีน้ำ จะต่างกันก็เพียงแต่ว่าใต้ถุนบ้านนี้ไม่สูงพอที่จะผูกวัวหรือควายไว้ใต้บ้านเท่านั้นเอง นับว่าเป็นเรื่องที่น่ายกย่องทีเดียวที่แนวความคิดในการออกแบบให้ออมชอมกับสภาพธรรมชาตินั้น มีสะท้อนให้เห็นอยู่ในทุกรูขุมขนของบ้านจริงๆ นี่ถ้าไม่เกรงใจกันคาดว่าคงออกแบบให้ลอยตามน้ำได้แบบเรือไปแล้ว

วัสดุก่อสร้างหลักที่ใช้ก็ง่ายๆมีเพียงแค่สองชนิดคือคอนกรีตซึ่งใช้เป็นส่วนของฐานราก กับไม้มะฮอกกะนี (Mahogany) ที่เป็นวัสดุหลักสำคัญ ที่เหลือก็เป็นวัสดุรอง เช่นกระจกสำหรับประตูหน้าต่าง และอิฐสำหรับเตาผิง ในส่วนเรื่องของเทคนิคการใช้วัสดุและการก่อสร้างนั้นเรียกได้ว่าแมนสุดๆ โดยไม่มีการปรับแต่งผิววัสดุหรือซ่อนเร้นรายละเอียดปลีกย่อยใดๆทั้งสิ้น ไม้ที่ได้มาสภาพเป็นอย่างไรก็ใช้มันอย่างนั้น ถ้าดูให้ดีๆจะเห็นว่าบางแง่บางมุมยังมีเสี้ยนไม้คาอยู่เลย! สีของเนื้อไม้จะแตกต่างจะด่างจะดำก็ช่างมัน ดูๆไปแล้วก็มีเสน่ห์ดีพิกล เห็นทื่อๆอย่างนี้ก็เถอะ ใครที่ตาคมหน่อยอาจจะสังเกตได้ว่า แท้จริงแล้วก็ลอบมีลูกเล่นจุกจิกในงานดีไซน์แอบแฝงอยู่ ยกตัวอย่างเช่นการเลือกไม้ที่มีสีแผกออกไปสำหรับแผงไม้แถวบนสุด เพื่อเป็นการเน้นองค์ประกอบแนวระนาบและเพื่อเป็นรายละเอียดของการจบ (Termination detail) ของตัว mass อาคาร

เดินวนรอบบ้านอยู่หลายรอบคราวนี้เราเข้ามาดูข้างในกัน พื้นที่ใช้สอยภายในมีลักษณะเปิดโล่งแบบ open plan ไม่ว่าจะเป็น ดื่ม กิน อยู่ หลับนอน หรือ เล่น ทุกกิจกรรมเกิดขึ้นในบริเวณนี้ทั้งสิ้น แสงแดดที่เล็ดเข้ามาตามร่องบนผนังเมื่อซ้อนทับกับแสงที่ลอดเข้ามาจากผนังด้านตรงข้ามก่อให้เกิดความงามแบบมลังเมลืองที่ผันแปรไปตลอดเวลาตามสภาวะอากาศที่เปลี่ยนแปลงอย่างไม่รู้จักจบสิ้น ช่องเปิดบนตัวอาคารสถาปนิกจงใจออกแบบให้มีระดับที่ต่ำกว่าปกติเพื่อนำเสนอทิวทัศน์ในระดับสายตาให้แก่ผู้พักอาศัยในขณะที่นั่งแบบบ้านๆบนฟูกที่วางอยู่บนพื้น ถัดออกมานิดทางส่วนปลายของบ้าน เป็นที่ตั้งของเตาผิงอิฐเปลือยที่ช่วยให้ความอบอุ่นในหน้าหนาวและใช้ต้มน้ำร้อนชงชาไปด้วยในตัว โดยมีปล่องไฟระบายควันและความร้อนเจาะทะลุออกไปบนหลังคาของบ้านที่ถูกออกแบบให้เป็นลานชมวิว ซึ่งเจ้าปล่องนี้เองก็สามารถช่วยคลายความยะเยือกให้แก่บริเวณดาดฟ้านี้ได้ระดับหนึ่ง

หากเปรียบหายนะของเหล่าอาคารตึกสูงที่ผ่านตาเราๆท่านๆอยู่เนืองๆทางสื่อยักษ์ใหญ่อย่าง CNN หรือ BBC กับต้นไม้ใหญ่ที่หักโค่นหลังพายุร้ายแล้ว Chen House ในทางตรงกันข้าม ก็เสมือนได้ดั่งต้นหญ้้าที่ลู่ไปตามลม และพร้อมที่จะตั้งใบอีกครั้งเมื่อยามแสงอาทิตย์แรกมาเยือน ด้วยคุณลักษณ์ของความไม่เที่ยงไม่สมบูรณ์และความไม่จีรัง ผนวกกับการเล่น+ล้อไปกับสายน้ำ สายลม และแสงแดด Chen House นับได้ว่าเป็นสถาปัตยกรรมแห่งปรากฏการณ์ (Phenomenal Architecture) อย่างแท้จริง
Jirawit Jamkleeb 2009


Monday, October 12, 2009


Marco Casagrande inrerview by Jirawit Yamkleeb for ART4D, Thailand.

Q1: How’s life as an architect in Finland in general?
Architects are egoistic and boring people everywhere. The new generation with Facebook and other light stuff feels better. In Finland we are like Masonries that occasionally force themselves to dance jazz. Boring.

Q2: We notice that, besides architecture, you have also done a number of artworks in Taiwan. What’s the story behind your involvement with this country? How did it get started?
I have done artworks and architecture in many places besides Taiwan, but Taiwan I like a lot. They are very anarchistic in a Dao way. It is not officially even a country – which I found strong. Taiwan is somehow beyond the national state.

It started when architect Ti-Nan Chi invited me to a conference “Urban Flashes” in Taipei. Chi tries to be a Dao-man, but actually he is an anarchist designer. Anyway, I was fascinated about the Urban Flashes and Taipei. I found the people to be good and the city to be very much energized by the citizens. On the other hand I could not understand how they let their rivers to be in so bad condition. Pollution was everywhere and pollution is worse than a sin. Worse than corruption. I love rivers. Danshui River must be back in its full a character. Pollution in Taipei and the polluted river was a trouble for me - and I am looking for trouble. So. I wrote to the Taipei City Government that they will die. Mainly because of ecological reasons. No reply. Then a year after in Linz, Austria Chi was arranging another Urban Flashes where I met another Taiwanese architect Roan Chin-Yueh, who got interested in my death-letter. He started to turn stones over in Taipei and soon I was invited there back.

Q3: Can you tell us more about the Treasure Hill project in Taiwan?
This is why I got back to Taipei, with the help of Roan. The city government wanted me to give them an alternative solution for future development in order not to die. They provided me a lot of data and information, but all was useless. The city in the data was completely different than the city on the streets. I could do no planning with this – just lie. In the end a rebel professor Kang Ming Jay took me to Treasure Hill, which in that point was under destruction by the same city government that had invited me to Taipei. I found Treasure Hill, an illegal urban farming settlement, to represent pretty much the same values that I was invited to present to the official Taipei. I changed my program and started to work with Treasure Hill ending it’s demolition process and then legitimizing the settlement as an example or sustainable high-density urban living.
Treasure Hill is a matriarchal community directed by Missis Lee, while as Taipei is patriarchal. The matriarchals are always closer to earth. Anarchist grandmothers will rule Taipei in the Third Generation City –condition. C-LAB: in grandmothers we trust.

Q4: You have done a few saunas as art projects in the past (Floating Sauna in Norway and 7-11 Sauna in Taiwan) and Chen House has got a sauna as well. Is there an intentional link of idea that you want to explore or a hidden message you want to convey or simply just because you are a Finnish?
One has to take the liberty to travel one thousand yeas back in order to realize, that the things are the same.

Q5: For Chen House, it is obviously not a traditional house but rather an experimental one. Did the client have a negative reaction the first time you presented the design? How did you manage to convince them?
I had been living already a year in the same river valley in “extremely experimental conditions” occupying an abandoned tea factory ruin and living there together with plants and insects. I am studying the meaning of Ruin. Chen House is a high-fly lounge compared to our T-Factory ruin.

The clients trusted me. I was rather present in the whole design and building process. There is no air in-between the design and architecture here. Flesh is in-between. FLESH IS MORE.

Q6: And what was their comment when it’s finished?
They have been living there for a year now. Also the surrounding people like the house. The garden is flourishing.

Q7: Do they really stay there all the time or more like a weekend house?
Sometimes more, sometimes like a weekend house.

Q8: According to our online research, we found out that you were personally involved with the construction of the house? Can you share with us what you have learnt during the process?
The best way to learn the site-specific environmental conditions is through physical labor. Flesh is more.

Q9: What is your dream project? What kind of object or architecture would you like to design most?
It is bullshit to say that scale limits the quality or the budget. The key of all art is to be present. I want to design a shopping centre ruined by jungle.

Q10: If you can choose what would be the next country you want to have your work realized and why?
Russia. I don’t know why.

Thank you very much for your time, Marco.
Thank you Jirawit. Anytime you need a good sauna: I am here.

Jirawit Yamkleeb
July ‘09

Friday, October 9, 2009

Marco Casagrande

Marco Casagrande (født 7. mai 1971 i Åbo, Finland) er en finsk arkitekt, forfatter og professor i arkitektur. Han ble uteksaminert fra Tekniska högskolan i Helsingfors, avdeling for arkitektur i 2001. sammen med sin daværende partner Sami Rintala ble de i 1999 kåret til finalister i Architecural Review's konkurranse «Emerging Architecture» og ble etter dette invitert til biennalen i Venezia, hvor deres arbeid «60 Minute Man», ble av New York Times reporter kåret til hans personlige favoritt. En eikeskog, plantet i en forlatt lekter fylt med kompostert «human waste» tilsvarende hva Venezias produserer i løpet av 60 minutter dannet rammen for dette arbeidet.

Casagrande startet Casagrande Laboratory, ( C-lab ) Helsingfors (2003-)og C-lab Taiwan, hvor han nå arbeider med medarbeidere med ulik bakgrunn innen arkitektur, byplanlegging, design, og kunst.

Casagrandes arbeider i krysningspunkter mellom disipliner - installasjonskunst, arkitektur, sirkus, urbanisme, performance, og økologisk og bærekraftig planlegging - hvor disiplin er underliggende historien i arbeidet. Hans arbeider er karakteristiske i sin søken etter «Human Layer» den underbevisste arkitekturen og det virkelig virkelige - «Real reality» og bærer preg av dette i sin stillferdige og ofte aksjonistiske form.

.. in search for subconscious architecture, real reality and connection between the modern man and nature,one shall not be blindfolded by stress, the surroundings of economics, the online access to entertainment or information. What is real is valuable.. Marco Casagrande

«Treasure Hill» transformerte han et illegalt bebodd område til et eksperiment laboratorium for økologisk urbanisme. For dette arbeidet ble Casagrande utnevnt som kandidat for «professor of ecological urban planning» i Tamkang University i Taiwan.

I hans teori om den 3. generasjons byer, ser han på den postindustrielle byen, og hvordan den postindustrielle by kan brytes ned og ruineres av «human nature», hvor arkitektens rolle er å være en sjamanistisk designer som tolker og handler på vegne av en felles større sammenheng og tilhørighet til det virkelige virkelige [1]

Hans arbeider har mottatt internasjonal anerkjennelse, og Chen House er på World Architecture Festival (WAF 2009) short list under kategorien ferdigstilte bygg - "house" [2]

Blant hans arbeider er:

Land(e)scape, arkitektonisk installasjon, Casagrande & Rintala, Savonlinna Finland 1999
Tre forlatte låver montert på 10 meter høye føtter for å følge etter bøndene til byene i sør. på slutten av installasjonen satte arkitektene fyr på byggene - Slaughter carnival.

60 Minute Man, arkitektonisk installasjon , Casagrande & Rintala, Venice Architecture Biennale 2000
50 meter lang forlatt lekter beplantet med eiketrær plantet på toppen kompostert "human vaste" produsert av byen Venezia i løpet av 60 minutter.

Uunisaari Summer Theatre, temporær arkitektur, Casagrande & Rintala, Helsinki Finland 2000
Et temporært rundt teater bygg i Suomenlinna -øy utenfor Helsinki.

1000 White Flags, landskapskunst, installasjon, Casagrande & Rintala, Koli Finland 2000
Hvite flagg laget av lakner fra psykriatisk sykehus montert i en alpinløype for å kurere bakken.

Quetzalcoatlus, installasjon, Casagrande & Rintala, Havana Biennale 2000
En 300 kg jernsøyle strukket mellom to universitetsbygg med 10 km fiskesnøre.

Bird Hangar, arkitektonisk installasjon, Casagrande & Rintala, Yokohama Triennial 2001
En armeringsjern- og hamp rep silo som slipper fri balsafugler montert i meterologiske ballonger som frakter Japanske grønnsaksfrø til byen.[5]

Installation 1:2001, Offentlig installasjon, Casagrande & Rintala, Firenze Biennale 2001
En rund vegg av 15 000 politiske, filosofiske og religiøse bøker med tittelsiden vendt utover og de hvite arkene vendt inn i sirkelen. Dette arbeidet var opprinnelig tenkt instaleret på Cuba, men den politiske motstanden tvang prosjektet til Italia. [6] [20]

Dallas-Kalevala, kunst reise, Casagrande & Rintala, Demeter Environmental Art, Hokkaido Japan 2002
en reise på land fra Finland til Japan med bil, innsamling av polaroid bilder av bestemødre, gamle økser og lokale radioopptak.A[7]

Chain Reactor, arkitektonisk installasjon, Casagrande & Rintala, Montreal Biennale 2002
en 6 x 6 x 6 meter kube av I-bjelker og resirkulert kjetting som danner ramme for et arnested.

Anarchist Gardener, performance and installasjons, Puerto Rico Biennial 2002
En parade av en fiktert Gud for å stanse motorvei trafikk og anlegge en serie industrielle Zen hager. [9]

Floating Sauna, temporær arkitektur, Casagrande & Rintala, Rosendahl village Norway 2002
En flytende sauna som et offentlig sted på fjorden utenfor en liten bygd i Hardanger.

Redrum, arkitektornisk installasjon, Casagrande & Rintala, Alaska Design Forum 2003
Et oljetempel som vender mot A U.S. Federal Government building midt i Anchorage. [10]

Potemkin, park, Casagrande & Rintala, Etchigo Tsumari Contemporary Art Triennial 2003
En 130 meter lang stål park for post industriell meditasjon i midten av rismarkene.[11]

Treasure Hill, Økologisk rehabilitering av ett illegalt bosetnings område., Taipei Taiwan 2003
Økologisk rehabilitering av ett illegalt bosetnings område.[http://]

Post Industrial Fleet, Maritim arkitektur, CREW*31, Venice Architecture Biennale 2004
Arkitektonisk resirkulering og gjenbruk av industrielle skip tatt ut av drift.[21]

Human Layer, urban acupuncture, Greetings from London[12][22] - Helsinki Festival[23] - Taipei on the Move[24] 2004
En serie av urbane akupunktur planer for London, Helsinki og Taipei. [13]

Chamber of the Post-Urbanist 104, life style installasjon, Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art 2005
Møblemang av stål, laget for en posturban huleboer.[14]

Future Pavilion, Taiwan Design Expo, kryss disiplinær kunst- arkitektonisk utstilling i en ruin av Wei Wu Military Camp, Kaoshioung [15][16]

CityZen Garden, installasjon, i samarbeid med 3RW Architects [17], Venice Architecture Biennale 2006
Orientalsk steinhage laget av resirkulert glass i fengselet i Venezia. Video dokumentasjon av Taiwanske urbane bønder. [18] [25]

Chen House, Datun Mountains, Taiwan. World Architecture Award 2009.
Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. With this house we were looking forward to design a ruin. [19]

^ [1]-
^ [2]-
^ [3] - Architectural Review: Little Top
^ [4] - ARCH'IT: Casagrande & Rintala
^ [5] - Yokohama 2001: Artist Data Sheet
^ [6] - Firenze Biennale Press Release 2001
^ [7] - Demeter: Dallas-Kalevala (2002)
^ [8] - La Biennale De Montreal: Casagrande & Rintala 10/2003
^ [9] - Camp for Oppositional Architecture, 2004
^ [10] - Hadani Ditmars: Artfully Pushing the Boundaries in Anchorage
^ [11] - SHIFT: Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial 2003
^ [12] - Greetings from London 2004
^ [13] - Epifanio: Human Layer_Taipei, 2005
^ [14] - Taipei MOCA: Chamber of the Post-Urbanist 104, 2005
^ [15] - Taipei Times: Design Expo Attracts Curious, 2005
^ [16] - C-LAB: The Art of Taiwan in Psychosis, 2005
^ [17] - 3RW Architects: Urban Farmers, 2006
^ [18] - Taipei Representative Office: An Architect Takes Care of a Stone Garden in a City of Water, 2006
^ [19] - World Architecture: Winners / 4th Cycle, 2009