During the 1800s, technological advancements in power, machinery, automation, and construction provided for the development of mass production, mass employment, specialized agricultural production, long-distance transportation, and the accelerated development of the globalized world economy. Cities expanded and segregated, as it became clear that the pollution and noise from industrial facilities was incompatible with inhabitable cities. With the assistance of planes, trains, and automobiles, factories and industrialized monoculture farms moved further away from cities, displacing vast areas of natural habitat and destroying biodiversity along the way. It is nearly impossible to imagine reverting to a pre-industrial existence, but there are elements of cities from before the industrial revolution that we can and should incorporate in the planning of future cities. A
ROOFSCAPE: A NEW DIMENSION
This scheme is the second project in the sister development, Merronian Living: a new residential typology that draws on the iconic Dublin terrace and reimagines the spatial potential of the roofscape. Like the first scheme, Merronian 2 is premised on architectural integration, paying respect to its surrounding built heritage. The project is inspired by the historical prototype of the terrace and mews, defined by the combination of a street-facing building with an independent ‘outhouse’ behind. Bordering Merrion Road, building A of the pair is articulated as individual terraced houses, presenting the block on a human scale. Each subdivision is attentively expressed in the material idiom of eighteenth-century redbrick homes, using varying tones from the colour palette of the surrounding environment.
Urban Agency, together with Siaplan, have won 3rd place in an urban planning and architecture competition to convert a bus depot into a multi-level complex development that has the features of a compact city. Due to the continuous expansion of the city of Seoul, bus garages which had been relocated away from urban areas, are being incorporated again into the middle of them. Therefore, the project is focused on giving the bus garage a new role as an Urban Connector – which naturally connects and strengthens the surrounding urban environment. There is a strong paradigm shift, from a grey, closed and disconnected bus garage to a place full of life, nature, culture and urban connections. The extension of the artificial
The four point-houses complete the residential area “Sick-Kaserne” with 64 new senior-friendly private apartments, offering the opportunity to live surrounded by greenery in the middle of the city of Neumünster. Each block contains 4 units per floor distributed in a spiral of split levels around a central core. The project is composed of two different types of blocks: the first one is a solid cube with shifting loggias in the corners emphasizing a horizontal expression with subtractions from the main volume. The second one emphasizes verticality by creating volumes in the corners divided by vibrant green voids in the middle of the four facades. The loggias occupy those spaces in order to divide the apartments between public and private areas and introducing the light in every corner.
ROOFSCAPE : A NEW DIMENSION
Merronian Living draws together components of modern urban living and historical domestic architecture from the surrounding areas, rendering a new typology that merges past with present. Paying homage to the Georgian terraced housing of Dublin city and suburbs, the apartment block is expressed in different-coloured brick vertical units and irregular fenestration, helping to articulate the massing and elevation of the building. The dynamic trigonometric treatment of the roof also echos the skyline of seaside vernacular villages and contribute its integration into the architectural environment. The design seeks out the spatial potential of the roof, carving out terraces to render openair ‘rooms’ that are at once sheltered from the breeze and exposed to stunning seascape views. Similarly, the glass-fronted balconies below
From bustling industry to vibrant residential
Frederikssund is an old port town, that has been evolved from medieval town, to merchant city, to industrial port, and into it’s current state as a post industrial commuter town. It is the center of Frederikssund Kommune, but includes close connections to both Roskilde via the fjord, and Copenhagen, via the S-Train connection. While the site is in close proximity to schools, transport, shopping, and cultural institutions, the current buildings are not suitable for housing, and create a barrier between different parts of the city. Our proposal recycles the facades of the existing industrial buildings, and provides high density housing that enhances the connectivity of central Frederikssund. This proposal builds upon the historical urban typologies of Frederikssund’s urban neighborhoods, creating
TOWNHOUSES IN ODENSE
Falen 40 is located in the calm Ansgard Quarter, just 10 minutes walk from the center of Odense. The property lies adjacent to a kindergarden and large cemetery, and occupies the former site of the cemetery’s administration and maintenance offices. A series of townhouses have been arranged on the site so that each house has generous access to sunlight, fresh air, and an immediate connection to the green park surroundings. The shifting scale of the buildings reflect that of the neighbors, and the collective green spaces provide room for a community garden, play areas, and calm recreational space, promoting a healthy relationship with the existing residents. The buildings are clad in red brick characteristic of the neighborhood, with window frames
Take the Green Line
At the edge of Seoul, the Sinnae district is one bound by a variety of transportation mega-structures A highway, a bus depot, and a metro train depot border the site, and this proposal seeks to establish a new residential typology which responds to and integrates these urban infrastructures. The existing residential zone in Sinnae is mono-programmatic, serving primarily as a commuter town. While the plan to cap the highway would reduce noise and pollution, it could potentially create an even more serious barrier, further segregating the residential area from the rest of the context. We don’t think a new cap over the highway should act like a wall, making the problem worse. A new type of development has the potential
HIGH-END RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX
This competition proposal for a luxury apartment building in Seoul’s vibrant Hannam-Dong district is designed to provide each apartment with maximum daylight access and views over the Han River. The 60-meter tall building includes a 2-storey retail podium, 12 floors of luxury housing, and is topped by a level of duplex penthouse apartments. There is a characteristic shift in the facade which emphasizes each individual unit, creates a greater distance from neighboring buildings, and integrates discrete balconies that extend the interior living space. Those balconies become vertical green slices in the building volume, and coupled with a facade composed of deep brass louvers, maintain privacy between the protruding apartment units. The service areas of each apartment are consolidated towards the interior, which
Urban Agency have won an urban planning and architectural competition for 400 new apartments in Cologne, Germany. The neighborhood, Höhenhaus, lies at the edge of the city, between two beautiful forests, and the connection to these vast landscape areas was an integral part of the development of this scheme as a series of permeable courtyards. Individual multifamily houses are arranged around a series of spacious, semi-public courtyards, which offer a variety of shared public areas that create places for social interaction between neighbours and host playgrounds for children of all ages. The porosity of the courtyards creates a network of paths and shortcuts that pass through the neighborhood, while cars are parked in underground garages, preserving the streetscape for pedestrians
Agnes’ Garden is a residential project located in the southeast corner of the future PH Park. The plan follows a cluster type development model and aims to offer high-quality housing with a wide range of housing types and sizes. We established a clear architectural idea creating buildings that form a strong unified entity, but at the same time each type of housing can be easily identified through material choices, roof shapes and facade alterations. The positioning of the buildings and the roof designs are thought to optimize daylight conditions and give all homes a facade facing either south or west. Generating a community based neighborhood and promoting social interaction between the residents is one of the main priorities of the project.
How do we create a new streetscape that embraces the heterogeneity of the context ? This was one of the challenges we faced when we were invited to design JAEGI in 2018 . The eight sites are situated in the heart of Seoul, with Korea University within walking distance the project aimed to address the needs of young professionals and students. The unfavourable conditions of each individual site led to an alliance between the eight owners. By joining forces, the project gained new potential: a stronger sense of community and a coherent street profile. A new building type emerged: coupled buildings, one of the first of it’s kind in Korea. From an early stage, a ‘sharing’ approach was developed: sharing
The site has a central location in Carlow town and sits between the River Burrin and the old gaol. This point marks a transition point in the current urban plan where the looser urban grain of the periphery changes to the more tight knit layout of the historic core. Inspired by local defensive historical structures standing along town rivers, such as Carlow Castle and Black Castle, the new building is of a monolithic expression and acts as a landmark to a key entrance of Carlow’s town centre. The scale and massing of the development has been designed to fit into the wider context of the town while responding to the civic location at the bridge where the core of the
FUTURE LANDMARK OF VÆRLØSE
The main square in Værløse, town located 15km away from Copenhagen, is a well-functioning trading center that boasts a wide range of stores, restaurants and cultural institutions such as a cinema, library and local culture house known as “Galaksen”. While the spatial design of the square forms a coherent architectural expression in terms of shape and materials it currently lacks a strong identity and proper connection with the town’s second focal point; the train station. As both a combined junction and landmark, the Posthusgrunden will have two very important functions in the city structure. Located on an old post office site just between the main square and train station our project is set to be the missing link in the
BUNDANG TWIN TOWERS
CONSTRUCTION STARTS SOON
Urban Agency has been commissioned to design a mixed use building of over 50.000 m2 at the entrance to the Bundang District outside of Seoul, Korea. The site is surrounded by a vast green nature area on 3 sides, and lies at a fork between the Tancheon River and a small tributary. The driving force behind this project was the desire to optimize the site’s location and the buildings’ orientations to provide each resident with the best possible views of the surrounding landscape. There is 225º of exposure to the surrounding landscape, but for each apartment to have direct views to the green context, the two residential towers have to be rotated at 45 degree angles. Once rotated, the
Located in a Dublin suburban estate, which typically features modest 2 storey terraced houses with ostentatiously large and deep rear gardens, this project propose a model for horizontal densification. Here we see how “Back to back” typologies and land subdivision have generated vast areas of under- utilised landlocked stock throughout the country. The awkward triangular shape of the site generated the pure triangular plan of the house surrounded by three gardens; an entrance garden to the north, a breakfast garden to the east and green garden to the south. The three corners of the house are extended to the edges of the site and are “carved out” to create three porticoes which form a series of thresholds, while also articulating
152 MICRO APARTMENTS IN SEOUL
URBAN AGENCY has completed a 152 unit 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 courtyard space
This scheme for a new building in the Glückstein Quartier of Mannheim begins as a direct response to the local plan requirements for a rectilinear courtyard block development of 23m in height, but deliberately subverts the closed nature of a classic courtyard building, as a reaction to the unique cultural artifacts of the immediate environment. By creating an open corner on this site, we establish a new connection to the adjacent public space between two preserved locomotive sheds, and make this new building an indispensable feature in the developing urban environment. This simple change in geometry creates a literal connection from the interior courtyard to both the new park and public space between the two historical buildings. The resulting
HOTEL IN DÜSSELDORF'S HARBOUR
URBAN AGENCY, together with RKW Arkitektur, has been invited to design a new hotel at the southern entrance to Düsseldorf Media Harbor. The site at Kaistraße 1 is the last property of a development zone which has made both day and night activity a priority in the revitalization of the district. Towards that goal, this scheme proposes a mixed-use building that promotes maximum exchange between the interior and existing urban environment. The local plan specifies a maximum building volume, within which a series of volumes are stacked according to different criteria. The arrangement of the blocks serves to break down the scale of the building, and corresponds to the geometry of the surrounding urban context. Two high points establish
West Campus Calgary
The site is located in Calgary University District within West Campus masterplan, a future vibrant, year-round destination for life, work, play and rest which imagines a new community that will build on the strengths and character of the neighbourhoods that surround the University, while aiming to strengthen the contribution that the University makes to the larger Calgary community. Sitting atop a naturalized slope, the southern portion of the site overlooks dramatic views of the Rocky Mountains, the Bow River and downtown Calgary. The main street along University Avenue will be a focal point and prime commercial amenity base for the community. The Avenue is intended to provide a broad mix of day-to-day services and fine-grained retail experiences. Main street connects
Spirit of the Place
Is it possible to create an apartment development at true human scale, that works in harmony with it’s site context and captures the spirit of the place? To design sustainable apartment typologies capable of catering to a multi-generation population? Rather than making a standard single large block for 56 apartments, the development is broken down into four volumes. This reduces the overall mass, provides a more intimate and human scale in the form of four “Big Houses”, and remains architecturally in-keeping with the area in a contemporary way. All the homes are corner apartments taking full advantage of the spectacular views of Dalkey Quarry, Dalkey Island and the Irish Sea. Great level of care has also been taken to minimize
GRAND Xi BEACH
DUAL SKYLINE APARTMENTS
This development proposal for Grand Xi Beach highlights the geographical value of Samick Beach, and the opportunity for views toward Busan, Gwangalli beach and Gwangan bridge. In order for Grand Xi Beach to become a landmark, complementing the profile of Gwangan Bridge, it was important to investigate different perspectives for urban skylines. This scheme includes two superimposed skylines which respond to different conditions in the unique urban landscape of Samick Beach. The upper skyline projects the strong local identity of this new development, with 11 towers of varying heights, while the lower skyline responds to the scale of life on the ground, a life rich in social interaction. The clean form of the upper skyline dissolves into more fragmented
SURROUNDED BY GREENERY
Charlottenlundhave is an attractive location directly on the edge of the botanical garden in Charlottenlund, north of Copenhagen. The new residential buildings offer the opportunity to live surrounded by greenery, but in the middle of one of Denmark’s most attractive neighborhoods. The oblong shape of the site lies just east of Charlottenlund station. To get the most out of the site’s orientation and to minimize noise from the railway, we have placed the buildings as linear blocks that run perpendicular to the tracks. At the same time, the layout creates an optimal solar orientation and provides space nature to flow between the buildings. Each block is designed as a 3-storey stack of which shifts at each level to create terraces.
Cherrywood is a key new town along Dublin’s southern coast. The development site at TC5 is within walking distance of the town centre and located on Grand Parade, a vibrant new boulevard which will link the town centre to Tully Park and the surrounding area. The development is situated adjacent to a Luas stop at Cherrywood and has adjacencies to multiple bus and cycle routes. The proposed development is for a mixed tenure development of 146 apartments for sale across the site. The scheme is defined by a strong urban block structure that is in keeping with the overall Cherrywood masterplan whilst respecting the residential amenity of the adjoining environment and providing for pedestrian permeable ground floor. The project is
The Sommerlyst project, located on Holmbladsgade, Copenhagen, offers 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 its 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 well into the context of classic Copenhagen housing blocks.
The starting point for our urban design for the new residential development at the intersection of Jägerstraße and Festenbergstraße in the Eller district lay in a detailed analysis of the neighbourhood and the community’s own wishes. The morphology of the Eller district is determined by road-building. Our design adopts and adapts this typology to the existing edge block development both in scale and size. Inspired by the results of community dialogue, our design adopts the familiar and proven form of the four storey, pitched roof profile which extrudes along the boundary edges of the site to create an edge-block structure. The site for the new development is located on the border between a compact city and an open settlement
NEW URBAN MAGNET ON YEOUIDO ISLAND
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is one of the leading television and radio networks in South Korea. As the company increasingly expands, MBC decided to relocate the company to the outskirts of Seoul. The old broadcasting building which has performed as a key station during the last 40 years has become obsolete and requires conversion to allow more profitable and beneficial development. The ambitious urban and architectural idea proposed for the former site sets itself the challenge to bring back ‘cultural activities’ into the area and create an authentic and local Yeouido. The site will comprise of buildings falling under three principal programmes: residential, offices, and commercial.Instead of competing for commercial supremacy with other major venues around the MBC, the
Urban Agency together with Karres+Brands and Urbanization.dk have won the opportunity to transform the Maria Hilf Hospital Area into a vibrant urban neighborhood! The site is located at the edge of the historical center of Mönchengladbach and in the coming two years the city plans to establish a new dense neighbourhood. The hospital functions will be abandoned and the site will begin its transformation into a new urban neighborhood with strong connections to the surrounding urban fabric. Our proposal is defined by a robust urban framework, with terraces of building blocks and new barrier-free path meandering through the site. It bridges the gap between the lowest and highest point to create level-free access for all. The path exemplifies our
The proposal for the Foum El Oued Technopole in Morocco can be seen not only as an opportunity to design a new campus of innovative architecture, technological innovation and merit but equally an opportunity to rethink the campus typology and carefully examine the ways it should perform for the sake of its multiple users and in a climatically intense environment. The new campus is devoted to research, innovation and training in the fields of science and technology with intent also to encourage sustainable development of the local population and environment through meticulous and thoughtful design choices. This proposal’s ambition, in terms of its architecture, is to reflect the philosophy of the technopole: establishing a dynamic centre and reference point
LIVING IN-BETWEEN NATURE
Urban Agency, together with TNT Arkitekter, has been invited to design a new housing area in Nærheden located only thirty minutes from Copenhagen’s city center. With a high-density type required, the challenge faced in this project was to create a cosy, diverse housing area without the feeling of being overcrowded and tightly 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 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
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
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
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
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.
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.