The area around Dundrum has seen rapid change over the past two decades. The new buildings have brought a very different expression and scale to what was once a village on the outskirts of Dublin; sometimes bringing with it cautious scrutiny from pre-existing residents. The fact is that new apartment developments should have a solely positive impact on the local areas and provide long term gain to the surrounding residential amenity. The goal for 120 “build-to-rent” apartments at Greenacres is to provide a new residential development that will enhance the changing neighbourhood around Dundrum while also providing a scheme that is innovative, generous and of high quality that reflects the needs of contemporary life for all its prospective residents. Our
During a time with an ever-growing urban population every square metre of vacant space becomes an opportunity for positive development.Critically, in respect with its surroundings, the effort in maximising a “landlocked” site’s potential is challenging with factors such as overlooking, overshadowing, building heights etc to be addressed. Any new housing development should acknowledge and minimise its impact on surrounding existing structures. Our student accommodation project for 203 beds on Prussia Street had to address these factors and to be properly placed in the long-established residential community in the heart of Stoneybatter. With the addition of the new campus at DIT Grangegorman in the near future there is an opportunity to foster dialogue with existing and new residential communities. Key design
LIVING IN-BETWEEN NATURE
Urban Agency, together with TNT Arkitekter, has been invited to design a new housing area in Nærheden located only 30min away from Copenhagen’s city center. With a high-density requirement, the challenge faced in this project was to create a cosy, diverse housing area without the feeling of being overcrowded and packed. The final urban planning of the estate is shaped by natural factors, it reacts to sunlight conditions and opens towards the green surroundings. With parking spots placed on the edge of the site, the central areas are saved for green, public squares dedicated for group activities of the inhabitants. The quality of the public spaces is enriched by an open water management system and lush vegetation matching the indigenous
AMAGER COMMONS QUARTER
A blue-green delta landscape, like rivers flowing between characterful housing islands, and a loop for social activity, are the main elements of a proposal for a master plan for Amager Fælled Kvarter (Amager Commons Quarter) putting everyday life, nature and social fellowships at the centre. It sets the stage for the Commons’ unique nature as a shared recreational resource and the social grouting interconnecting the urban quarter’s sustainable city life. Community, activity and urban life in the middle of nature. URBAN AGENCY’s proposal for a new master plan for Amager Fælled Kvarter will preserve the special nature resources and recreational function of the area. The Metro just around the corner will be the basis for a new urban space where
URBAN AGENCY has been commissioned to design public spaces and eighty-four new mixed-use buildings for the city of Midan in South Korea. The new development both accommodates local residents and tourists of Incheon Airport and provides new entertainment facilities for Midan City Yeongiong Island. One of the most challenging aspects of this project was to create a village that encapsulates dynamic design and a unique spatial identity whilst maintaining each building’s distinct individuality, despite the primarily commercial masterplan we were presented with. In pursuance of this, we will disperse a multitude of architectural and urbanistic interventions throughout the site, such as pavement design, an open terrace towards the park, an urban square and an abundance of street art. The building
EDUCATION CENTRE FOR ALL
The project for a 10,000m2 adult education centre, located in the south-west of Morocco in a harsh and isolated area, aspires to create a robust, world-class education facility that will give generously to its community. Site strategy: Less is more Although the given site is quite large, the building occupies half of it in order to create a compact and introverted building, with a humble and simple exterior leading into a rich dynamic internal courtyard – drawing reference to the traditional “Medersa”( first universities) for its social, cultural and climatic ingenuity. Occupying a portion of the site allows for further development, creating the opportunity for expansion in the future. Meanwhile, the freed space will be used as a generous public
THE VERTICAL VILLAGE
The love for the suburban house in Ireland is well known. However, it is an unsustainable model for the future of a city like Dublin which should encourage a more pedestrian and cycling mobility rather than car commuting culture. The design concept wants to bring into the project the qualities one finds in the typical Irish “terraced houses” such as the two storey spatial qualities, the greenery environment, and the outdoor space, as well as sense of community. We propose a series of vertically stacked terraced houses with generous, lush outdoor spaces, communal facilities, concierge services, café, gym, etc.; a real vertical village. The project, commissioned by the US developer Hines for 165 apartments scheme on Spencer Dock, is an
152 MICRO APARTMENTS IN SEOUL
URBAN AGENCY has been commissioned to design 152 units of Officetel building with a hybrid programme between an office and a hotel as a self-contained living environment in the new development area of the Negok District, Seoul together with Soomok Architects and Imma Architects. The site at number 2-2 Negok District has both positive and negative aspects – the design concept embodies and tackles said upsides and challenges. The open view towards Mt Chunggae is utilised while the unsightly Kyungbu highway and the very closely located neighbouring building is resolved – an innovative urbanistic solution to a complex condition. We proposed a counter shape as a response to the neighbouring U-shape building; its counter U-shape not only creates a larger
Qianhai Exchange Plaza - More than trade!
Qianhai Exchange Plaza will be a place for economic exchange. But it has the potential for much more. It can become the place for exchange on many different levels – a place of a holistic identity of what exchange means in the 21st century. Social Exchange: Economic exchange is based on people interacting. This needs places where people can meet in a formal or informal way – places where social exchange in the context of business and outside it can take place. Cultural exchange: Qianhai and the exchange plaza are the heart of a new place that is supposed to foster exchange between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and between China and the world. Where people from everywhere meet it would
10 Apartments & retail
The project consists of ten luxury apartments and a restaurant on the ground floor opening onto a semi-public lush garden. In 2013, URBAN AGENCY was commissioned to reassess an existing proposal and managed to gain an extra 40% of floor space by sliding and twisting each storey in order to comply with and “twist“ French planning law.
New social housing
The ten town villas are placed as a chain in the hilly landscape and relate both to the 5-6 storey houses of the new development and the small-scale houses of the village itself. The town villa typology has a small volume compared to the traditional social housing slab, combining the qualities of the one-family house with the density of the multi-storey housing typology. The access system and the common outside terrace area melt together as wide wooden bridges, including entrance zones for the units and terrace spaces. This creates housing with a strong community and a high level of safety. The buildings are planned according to the principles of the German DGNB certification system.
In Spring 2010, URBAN AGENCY was appointed the winner of the competition for new housing at the Sommerlyst site in Holmbladsgade, Copenhagen. The project will now be realised as twenty-eight units of social housing. The house enjoys a vivid landscape of roof terraces and balconies, which also provide access to the housing units themselves. This creates a safe and socially well-functioning environment for the inhabitants. The units are large family houses – partly duplex housing units with double-height spaces and four rooms. The ground floor to the main street offers two business areas suitable for cafes, restaurants or office spaces, with the facade to the minor Geislersgade featuring small front gardens and small-scale, terrace house typologies. The brick facades fit
Distributed over two buildings, Ørestad Assisted Housing Project comprises a total of 110 units for disabled people and psychiatric patients. As it was important that the development naturally integrated itself into the future urban fabric and the public space, all the common facilities on the ground floor, e.g. café and rehabilitation center, are gathered in order to achieve an open and inviting access with a close link to the public space. The facade of the building is designed in a modular system with a distinctive checkerboard layout. The shifting half-module size windows and the set-back balconies create a distinctive depth and a unique and lively character that puts the buildings in dialogue with the urban space. The building’s design invites
44 Social Housing units
The proposal challenges the generic standard ‘housing block’ layout by creating a more human-scale but high-density housing while encouraging and developing a great sense of community living. The site is located in Narbonne in the South of France in a low-rise residential neighbourhood dominated by large two-storey private houses with red terracotta pitch roofs. The challenge was to insert a high-density residential development to fit in the existing low-density context. The project minimizes the scale and the massing of the development by breaking it down into six small, interconnected volumes of varying heights. The facades are tilted above the second storey and are finished with a red terracotta concrete finish so the overall building reads visually as a cluster of
Future of Copenhagen
In 2008 URBAN AGENCY, together with Vandkunsten Architects, won a two-stage urban planning competition for the development of the “Kløvermarken” quarter in Copenhagen. The project comprised the development of a new urban district with about 900,000 m2 of floor-area for housing, public and commercial use. Organised around the existing football fields, the project was designed with a focus on public health and sustainable living. URBAN AGENCY has worked on the project from inception to development plan and has been responsible for the development of a design manual for landscape architecture and public space.
The project in Kantplatz 8 in Neumünster, Germany, called for the renewal and restoration of a former church and church community house with a special focus on energy optimisation. The building is a defining part of the central square of the 1950s housing area. The project strikes a balance between building preservation, modernisation and energy optimisation: the facade towards the square had to be preserved, with the garden side opened up into a modern facade. Bay windows and balconies were established to create variety and the increase the potential for social engagement in the neighbourhood. The apartments were organised and scaled to accommodate the needs of groups of different ages. The interior and exterior common areas were given special attention
34 apartments retrofit & new extension
An existing dormer building is restructured as a permeable light box. Removing the old dormer windows, a three-and-a-half storey block is locked onto the top of the refurbished building. The new block provides a series of duplex and triplex units in the form of vertical houses. The block is carved out to form terraces, gardens and winter gardens, a multifaceted version of the traditional Irish back garden which divided and distributed to provide a range of uses and experiences. Conceptually comfortable houses are placed in a city centre location with three or four sided views over the city and green pockets acting as breathing space. Continuing the sense of rural life in an urban setting, allotments are available to residents.