Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Publications

3 Hybrid Living: Emerging Out of the Crises and Divisions

Authors: Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The paper will focus on the hybrid living typologies which are brought about due to the Global Crisis. Mixing of the generations and the groups of people, mingling the functions of living with working and socializing, merging the act of living in synergy with the urban realm and its constituent elements will be the springboard of proposing an essential sustainable housing approach and the respective urban development. The thematic will be based on methodologies developed both on the academic, educational environment including participation of students’ research and on the practical aspect of architecture including case studies executed by the author in the island of Cyprus. Both paths of the research will deal with the explorative understanding of the hybrid ways of living, testing the limits of its autonomy. The evolution of the living typologies into substantial hybrid entities, will deal with the understanding of new ways of living which include among others: re-introduction of natural phenomena, accommodation of the activity of work and services in the living realm, interchange of public and private, injections of communal events into the individual living territories. The issues and the binary questions raised by what is natural and artificial, what is private and what public, what is ephemeral and what permanent and all the in-between conditions are eloquently traced in the everyday life in the island. Additionally, given the situation of Cyprus with the eminent scar of the dividing ‘Green line’ and the waiting of the ‘ghost city’ of Famagusta to be resurrected, the conventional way of understanding the limits and the definitions of the properties is irreversibly shaken. The situation is further aggravated by the unprecedented phenomenon of the crisis on the island. All these observations set the premises of reexamining the urban development and the respective sustainable housing in a synergy where their characteristics start exchanging positions, merge into each other, contemporarily emerge and vanish, changing from permanent to ephemeral. This fluidity of conditions will attempt to render a future of the built- and unbuilt realm where the main focusing point will be redirected to the human and the social. Weather and social ritual scenographies together with ‘spontaneous urban landscapes’ of ‘momentary relationships’ will suggest a recipe for emerging urban environments and sustainable living. Thus, the paper will aim at opening a discourse on the future of the sustainable living merged in a sustainable urban development in relation to the imminent solution of the division of island, where the issue of property became the main obstacle to be overcome. At the same time, it will attempt to link this approach to the global need for a sustainable evolution of the urban and living realms.

Keywords: social ritual scenographies, spontaneous urban landscapes, substantial hybrid entities, re-introduction of natural phenomena

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2 Courtyard Evolution in Contemporary Sustainable Living

Authors: Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The paper will focus on the strategic development deriving from the evolution of the traditional courtyard spatial organization towards a new, contemporary sustainable way of living. New sustainable approaches that engulf the social issues, the notion of place, the understanding of weather architecture blended together with the bioclimatic behavior will be seen through a series of experimental case studies in the island of Cyprus, inspired and originated from its traditional wisdom, ranging from small scale of living to urban interventions. Weather and nature will be seen as co-architectural authors with architects. Furthermore, the building will be seen not as an object but rather as a vessel of human activities. This will further enhance the notion of merging the material and immaterial, the built and unbuilt, subject-human, and the object-building. This eventually will enable to generate the discussion of the understanding of the building in relation to the place and its inhabitants, where the human topography is more important than the material topography. The specificities of the divided island and the dealing with sites that are in vicinity with the diving Green Line will further trigger explorations dealing with the regeneration issues and the social sustainability offering unprecedented opportunities for innovative sustainable ways of living. Opening up a discourse with premises of weather-nature, materialimmaterial, human-material topographies in relation to the contested sites of the borders will lead us to develop innovative strategies for a profound, both technical and social sustainability, which fruitfully yields to innovative living built environments, responding to the ever changing environmental and social needs. As a starting point, a case study in Kaimakli in Nicosia, a refurbishment with an extension of a traditional house, already engulfs all the traditional/ vernacular wisdom of the bioclimatic architecture. The project focusses on the direct and quite obvious bioclimatic features such as south orientation and cross ventilation. Furthermore, it tries to reinvent the adaptation of these parameters in order to turn the whole house to a contemporary living environment. In order to succeed this, evolutions of traditional architectural elements and spatial conditions are integrated in a way that does not only respond to some certain weather conditions, but they integrate and blend the weather within the built environment. A series of innovations aiming at maximum flexibility is proposed. The house can finally be transformed into a winter enclosure, while for the most part of the year it turns into a ‘camping’ living environment. Parallel to experimental interventions in existing traditional units, we will proceed examining the implementation of the same developed methodology in designing living units and complexes. Malleable courtyard organizations that attempt to blend the traditional wisdom with the contemporary needs for living, the weather and nature with the built environment will be seen tested in both horizontal and vertical developments. Social activities are seen as directly affected and forged by the weather conditions thus generating a new social identity of people where people are directly involved and interacting with the weather. The human actions and interaction with the built, material environment in order to respond to weather will be seen as the result of balancing the social with the technological sustainability, the immaterial, and the material aspects of the living environment.

Keywords: building as a verb, contemporary living, weather architecture, traditional bioclimatic wisdom

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1 Inflating the Public: A Series of Urban Interventions

Authors: Veronika Antoniou, Rene Carraz, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The Green Urban Lab took the form of public installations that were placed at various locations in four cities in Cyprus. These installations - through which a series of events, activities, workshops and research took place - were the main tools in regenerating a series of urban public spaces in Cyprus. The purpose of this project was to identify issues and opportunities related to public space and to offer guidelines on how design and participatory democracy improvements could strengthen civil society, while raising the quality of the urban public scene. Giant inflatable structures were injected in important urban fragments in order to accommodate series of events. The design and playful installation generated a wide community engagement. The fluid presence of the installations acted as a catalyst for social interaction. They were accessed and viewed effortlessly and surprisingly, creating opportunities to rediscover public spaces.

Keywords: Creativity, Urban Environments, Public space, bottom-up initiatives, social innovation

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Abstracts

6 Emerging Identities: A Transformative ‘Green Zone’

Authors: Alessandra Swiny, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

There exists an on-going geographical scar creating a division through the Island of Cyprus and its capital, Nicosia. The currently amputated city center is accessed legally by the United Nations convoys, infiltrated only by Turkish and Greek Cypriot army scouts and illegal traders and scavengers. On Christmas day 1963 in Nicosia, Captain M. Hobden of the British Army took a green chinagraph pencil and on a large scale Joint Army-RAF map ‘marked’ the division. From then on this ‘buffer zone’ was called the ‘green line.' This once dividing form, separating the main communities of Greek and Turkish Cypriots from one another, has now been fully reclaimed by an autonomous intruder. It's currently most captivating inhabitant is nature. She keeps taking over, for the past fifty years indigenous and introduced fauna and flora thrive; trees emerge from rooftops and plants, bushes and flowers grow randomly through the once bustling market streets, allowing this ‘no man’s land’ to teem with wildlife. And where are its limits? The idea of fluidity is ever present; it encroaches into the urban and built environment that surrounds it, and notions of ownership and permanence are questioned. Its qualities have contributed significantly in the search for new ‘identities,' expressed in the emergence of new living conditions, be they real or surreal. Without being physically reachable, it can be glimpsed at through punctured peepholes, military bunker windows that act as enticing portals into an emotional and conceptual level of inhabitation. The zone is mystical and simultaneously suspended in time, it triggers people’s imagination, not just that of the two prevailing communities but also of immigrants, refugees, and visitors; it mesmerizes all who come within its proximity. The paper opens a discussion on the issues and the binary questions raised. What is natural and artificial; what is private and public; what is ephemeral and permanent? The ‘green line’ exists in a central fringe condition and can serve in mixing generations and groups of people; mingling functions of living with work and social interaction; merging nature and the human being in a new-found synergy of human hope and survival, allowing thus for new notions of place to be introduced. Questions seek to be answered, such as, “Is the impossibility of dwelling made possible, by interweaving these ‘in-between conditions’ into eloquently traced spaces?” The methodologies pursued are developed through academic research, professional practice projects, and students’ research/design work. Realized projects, case studies and other examples cited both nationally and internationally hold global and local applications. Both paths of the research deal with the explorative understanding of the impossibility of dwelling, testing the limits of its autonomy. The expected outcome of the experience evokes in the user a sense of a new urban landscape, created from human topographies that echo the voice of an emerging identity.

Keywords: Urban Wildlife, buffer zone, human topographies, no man’s land

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5 Hybrid Living: Emerging Out of the Crises and Divisions

Authors: Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The paper will focus on the hybrid living typologies which are brought about due to the Global Crisis. Mixing of the generations and the groups of people, mingling the functions of living with working and socializing, merging the act of living in synergy with the urban realm and its constituent elements will be the springboard of proposing an essential sustainable housing approach and the respective urban development. The thematic will be based on methodologies developed both on the academic, educational environment including participation of students’ research and on the practical aspect of architecture including case studies executed by the author in the island of Cyprus. Both paths of the research will deal with the explorative understanding of the hybrid ways of living, testing the limits of its autonomy. The evolution of the living typologies into substantial hybrid entities, will deal with the understanding of new ways of living which include among others: re-introduction of natural phenomena, accommodation of the activity of work and services in the living realm, interchange of public and private, injections of communal events into the individual living territories. The issues and the binary questions raised by what is natural and artificial, what is private and what public, what is ephemeral and what permanent and all the in-between conditions are eloquently traced in the everyday life in the island. Additionally, given the situation of Cyprus with the eminent scar of the dividing ‘Green line’ and the waiting of the ‘ghost city’ of Famagusta to be resurrected, the conventional way of understanding the limits and the definitions of the properties is irreversibly shaken. The situation is further aggravated by the unprecedented phenomenon of the crisis on the island. All these observations set the premises of reexamining the urban development and the respective sustainable housing in a synergy where their characteristics start exchanging positions, merge into each other, contemporarily emerge and vanish, changing from permanent to ephemeral. This fluidity of conditions will attempt to render a future of the built- and unbuilt realm where the main focusing point will be redirected to the human and the social. Weather and social ritual scenographies together with ‘spontaneous urban landscapes’ of ‘momentary relationships’ will suggest a recipe for emerging urban environments and sustainable living. Thus, the paper will aim at opening a discourse on the future of the sustainable living merged in a sustainable urban development in relation to the imminent solution of the division of island, where the issue of property became the main obstacle to be overcome. At the same time, it will attempt to link this approach to the global need for a sustainable evolution of the urban and living realms.

Keywords: social ritual scenographies, spontaneous urban landscapes, substantial hybrid entities, re-introduction of natural phenomena

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4 Sustainable Living Where the Immaterial Matters

Authors: Maria Hadjisoteriou, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

This paper aims to explore and provoke a debate, through the work of the design studio, “living where the immaterial matters” of the architecture department of the University of Nicosia, on the role that the “immaterial matter” can play in enhancing innovative sustainable architecture and viewing the cities as sustainable organisms that always grow and alter. The blurring, juxtaposing binary of immaterial and matter, as the theoretical backbone of the Unit is counterbalanced by the practicalities of the contested sites of the last divided capital Nicosia with its ambiguous green line and the ghost city of Famagusta in the island of Cyprus. Jonathan Hill argues that the ‘immaterial is as important to architecture as the material concluding that ‘Immaterial–Material’ weaves the two together, so that they are in conjunction not opposition’. This understanding of the relationship of the immaterial vs material set the premises and the departing point of our argument, and talks about new recipes for creating hybrid public space that can lead to the unpredictability of a complex and interactive, sustainable city. We hierarchized the human experience as a priority. We distinguish the notion of space and place referring to Heidegger’s ‘building dwelling thinking’: ‘a distinction between space and place, where spaces gain authority not from ‘space’ appreciated mathematically but ‘place’ appreciated through human experience’. Following the above, architecture and the city are seen as one organism. The notions of boundaries, porous borders, fluidity, mobility, and spaces of flows are the lenses of the investigation of the unit’s methodology, leading to the notion of a new hybrid urban environment, where the main constituent elements are in a flux relationship. The material and the immaterial flows of the town are seen interrelated and interwoven with the material buildings and their immaterial contents, yielding to new sustainable human built environments. The above premises consequently led to choices of controversial sites. Indisputably a provoking site was the ghost town of Famagusta where the time froze back in 1974. Inspired by the fact that the nature took over the a literally dormant, decaying city, a sustainable rebirthing was seen as an opportunity where both nature and built environment, material and immaterial are interwoven in a new emergent urban environment. Similarly, we saw the dividing ‘green line’ of Nicosia completely failing to prevent the trespassing of images, sounds and whispers, smells and symbols that define the two prevailing cultures and becoming a porous creative entity which tends to start reuniting instead of separating , generating sustainable cultures and built environments. The authors would like to contribute to the debate by introducing a question about a new recipe of cooking the built environment. Can we talk about a new ‘urban recipe’: ‘cooking architecture and city’ to deliver an ever changing urban sustainable organism, whose identity will mainly depend on the interrelationship of the immaterial and material constituents?

Keywords: blurring zones, porous borders, spaces of flow, urban recipe

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3 Inflating the Public: A Series of Urban Interventions

Authors: Veronika Antoniou, Rene Carraz, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The Green Urban Lab took the form of public installations that were placed at various locations in four cities in Cyprus. These installations - through which a series of events, activities, workshops and research took place - were the main tools in regenerating a series of urban public spaces in Cyprus. The purpose of this project was to identify issues and opportunities related to public space and to offer guidelines on how design and participatory democracy improvements could strengthen civil society, while raising the quality of the urban public scene. Giant inflatable structures were injected in important urban fragments in order to accommodate series of events. The design and playful installation generated a wide community engagement. The fluid presence of the installations acted as a catalyst for social interaction. They were accessed and viewed effortlessly and surprisingly, creating opportunities to rediscover public spaces.

Keywords: Social innovation, Creativity, Urban Environments, Public space, bottom-up initiatives

Procedia PDF Downloads 385
2 Crisis In/Out, Emergent, and Adaptive Urban Organisms

Authors: Alessandra Swiny, Michalis Georgiou, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the questions raised through the work of Unit 5: ‘In/Out of crisis, emergent and adaptive’; an architectural research-based studio at the University of Nicosia. It focusses on sustainable architectural and urban explorations tackling with the ever growing crises in its various types, phases and locations. ‘Great crisis situations’ are seen as ‘great chances’ that trigger investigations for further development and evolution of the built environment in an ultimate sustainable approach. The crisis is taken as an opportunity to rethink the urban and architectural directions as new forces for inventions leading to emergent and adaptive built environments. The Unit 5’s identity and environment facilitates the students to respond optimistically, alternatively and creatively towards the global current crisis. Mark Wigley’s notion that “crises are ultimately productive” and “They force invention” intrigued and defined the premises of the Unit. ‘Weather and nature are coauthors of the built environment’ Jonathan Hill states in his ‘weather architecture’ discourse. The weather is constantly changing and new environments, the subnatures are created which derived from the human activities David Gissen explains. The above set of premises triggered innovative responses by the Unit’s students. They thoroughly investigated the various kinds of crisis and their causes in relation to their various types of Terrains. The tools used for the research and investigation were chosen in contradictive pairs to generate further crisis situations: The re-used/salvaged competed with the new, the handmade rivalling with the fabrication, the analogue juxtaposed with digital. Students were asked to delve into state of art technologies in order to propose sustainable emergent and adaptive architectures and Urbanities, having though always in mind that the human and the social aspects of the community should be the core of the investigation. The resulting unprecedented spatial conditions and atmospheres of the emergent new ways of living are deemed to be the ultimate aim of the investigation. Students explored a variety of sites and crisis conditions such as: The vague terrain of the Green Line in Nicosia, the lost footprints of the sinking Venice, the endangered Australian coral reefs, the earthquake torn town of Crevalcore, and the decaying concrete urbanscape of Athens. Among other projects, ‘the plume project’ proposes a cloud-like, floating and almost dream-like living environment with unprecedented spatial conditions to the inhabitants of the coal mine of Centralia, USA, not just to enable them to survive but even to prosper in this unbearable environment due to the process of the captured plumes of smoke and heat. Existing water wells inspire inversed vertical structures creating a new living underground network, protecting the nomads from catastrophic sand storms in the Araoune of Mali. “Inverted utopia: Lost things in the sand”, weaves a series of tea-houses and a library holding lost artifacts and transcripts into a complex underground labyrinth by the utilization of the sand solidification technology. Within this methodology, crisis is seen as a mechanism for allowing an emergence of new and fascinating ultimate sustainable future cultures and cities.

Keywords: adaptive built environments, crisis as opportunity, emergent urbanities, forces for inventions

Procedia PDF Downloads 305
1 Courtyard Evolution in Contemporary Sustainable Living

Authors: Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The paper will focus on the strategic development deriving from the evolution of the traditional courtyard spatial organization towards a new, contemporary sustainable way of living. New sustainable approaches that engulf the social issues, the notion of place, the understanding of weather architecture blended together with the bioclimatic behaviour will be seen through a series of experimental case studies in the island of Cyprus, inspired and originated from its traditional wisdom, ranging from small scale of living to urban interventions. Weather and nature will be seen as co-architectural authors with architects as intelligently claimed by Jonathan Hill in his Weather Architecture discourse. Furthermore, following Pallasmaa’s understanding, the building will be seen not as an end itself and the elements of an architectural experience as having a verb form rather than being nouns. This will further enhance the notion of merging the subject-human and the object-building as discussed by Julio Bermudez. This eventually will enable to generate the discussion of the understanding of the building constructed according to the specifics of place and inhabitants, shaped by its physical and human topography as referred by Adam Sharr in relation to Heidegger’s thinking. The specificities of the divided island and the dealing with sites that are in vicinity with the diving Green Line will further trigger explorations dealing with the regeneration issues and the social sustainability offering unprecedented opportunities for innovative sustainable ways of living. The above premises will lead us to develop innovative strategies for a profound, both technical and social sustainability, which fruitfully yields to innovative living built environments, responding to the ever changing environmental and social needs. As a starting point, a case study in Kaimakli in Nicosia a refurbishment with an extension of a traditional house, already engulfs all the traditional/ vernacular wisdom of the bioclimatic architecture. It aims at capturing not only its direct and quite obvious bioclimatic features, but rather to evolve them by adjusting the whole house in a contemporary living environment. In order to succeed this, evolutions of traditional architectural elements and spatial conditions are integrated in a way that does not only respond to some certain weather conditions, but they integrate and blend the weather within the built environment. A series of innovations aiming at maximum flexibility is proposed. The house can finally be transformed into a winter enclosure, while for the most part of the year it turns into a ‘camping’ living environment. Parallel to experimental interventions in existing traditional units, we will proceed examining the implementation of the same developed methodology in designing living units and complexes. Malleable courtyard organizations that attempt to blend the traditional wisdom with the contemporary needs for living, the weather and nature with the built environment will be seen tested in both horizontal and vertical developments. A new social identity of people, directly involved and interacting with the weather and climatic conditions will be seen as the result of balancing the social with the technological sustainability, the immaterial and the material aspects of the built environment.

Keywords: building as a verb, contemporary living, traditional bioclimatic wisdom, weather architecture

Procedia PDF Downloads 300