Thursday, June 12, 2014

Title: Taitung Ruin Academy
Year: 2014
Artist:Marco Casagrande
Medium: wood, tatami, solar panels etc. 

Artist’s Interpretation:

The Ruin Academy in Taitung, Taiwan is situated in an old sugar factory out of duty. The Ruin Academy is an organic machine. It has grown into the abandoned industrial machinery like an architectural creeper and is now producing humane sugar: creativity. 

The Ruin Academy is continuing its bio-urban research on the multidisciplinary design methodology of the Third Generation City, the organic ruin of the industrial city, urban scale organic machine. The research is tied with local knowledge and is operating freely in-between different disciplines of art and science within the general framework of bio-urban built human environment.

Ruin Academy is an avant-garde fragment of the International Society of Biourbanism, a laboratory which is focused on the biological restoration of the industrial city through punctual interventions as a form of bio-urban acupuncture. 

Ruin Academy is hosting a series of workshops for Taiwanese and international universities and citizen groups. It is producing multidisciplinary research and design for real-life cases in Taitung and Taiwan at large. As a creeper the Ruin Academy can slowly grow to occupy and activate new corners of the Sugar Factory machine. We are industrial insects and the Sugar Factory is our hive for insect architecture.

In the Sugar Factory the Ruin Academy operators are working and living in a machine. The industrial control is opened up in order to let nature to step in. The machine is now growing bamboo, vegetables and fruits. Openings on the roof are letting rainwater to irrigate the different organic layers growing on the machinery. The concrete slab on the floor is penetrated with big holes so that bigger trees can root in the original ground. There is a traditional Finnish sauna in one of the big processing tanks. 

Together with Taitung County Cultural Affairs Department


本計劃擬招募20名,對台東廢墟學院有濃厚興趣之學生或社會人士為志工,參與整個計畫空間改造工程的建構。參與者可近距離觀察並協助知名建築師兼藝術家馬可 • 卡薩格蘭(Marco Casagrande)如何將台東糖廠之局部改造發展成台東廢墟學院的整個過程,並對其以「第三代城市」、「生物城市」等概念為核心的未來城市想像有所認識。



學校 / 服務單位
系級 / 職稱
語言能力 中文 英文(請簡述聽、說能力)
緊急聯絡人:關係 姓名 手機
用餐 □ 葷 素

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Casagrande shares space with the jungle

Text Francois-Luc Giraldeau
Photos AdDa Zei
Published in MARK Magazine #50, June/July 2014

Early in his career, Finnish architect Marco Casagrande grasped the need to cut across disciplines - in the arts and applied sciences - to give form to his broad vision of the built environment. His current research involves the development of urban interventions on different scales, projects meat to shape and follow the shift towards a postindustrial city: an organic matrix lying in ruin, within which nature and man-made constructions are closely intertwined.

In the Taiwanese jungle, nestled amid a tangle of tropical vegetation, Ultra-Ruin is autonomous and off-grid. The single-family house was designed to give rise to unfettered interaction between natural processes and built form over time. It epitomizes Casagrande's experimental take on architectural conservation and puts a spin on the established view of bioclimatic concepts employed in the design of residential projects. Here the architect shows his appreciation for the tectonic qualities and the promising adaptive possibilities of a decaying brick farmhouse, a building that had fallen into disrepair and that was - and is - exposed to the elements and to wildlife.

Its renovation appears to have come about both organically and fortuitously. The architect drew upon the existing structure, using only minimal methods and resources to achieve tremendous gains in terms of spatial adaptability and flexibility. Casagrande explains that a commission of this kind "usually starts out with rough sketches and goes forward to small-scale physical models". The architect who immerses himself "in the physical and cultural context of the project", he stresses, is "all the more qualified" to execute his plan properly.

Encompassing two levels, Ultra-Ruin is a free-flowing sequence of serene spaces that engender spiritual reflection while mediating the contrast between inside and outside, deftly allowing one to assert itself within the other. Evoking the building's lush setting are several local timbers, such as mahogany, which was used to construct the walkway that leads to the entrance. Other materials, however, provide a crisp, contemporary counterpoint to nature and to the project's rustic appeal.

Casagrande's work seems to be driven by the desire - if not archaic, then at least unconventional - to build shelters, improvised structures that grow from the inside out to gradually shape and enhance the lives of his clients. Poised between construction and destruction, Ultra-Ruin is an emotional piece of architecture rather than a pragmatic piece of convenience.