'… in order to control the immediate environment: to produce dryness in rainstorms, heat in winter, chill in summer, to enjoy acoustic and visual privacy, to have convenient surfaces on which to arrange one's be - longings and sociable activities. For all but the last dozen decades or so, mankind has only disposed of one convincing method for achieving these environmental improvements; to erect massive and apparently permanent structures. '
Architeture of the well-tempered environment
The Architectural Press, London
The University of Chicago Press, 1969
In 2021 the project officially kicks off. As the team meets, there is a common agreement that during 2020, the subject addressed by the project became even more urgent. The global society faces a huge crisis. The cuts in the imported prime material create a serious stress on supplying the local demand of building industry. The global companies are increasing their predominance or monopoly, while many of the local and small businesses and a significant number of individuals are heavily suffering.
The post-pandemic world has to think about distributing more evenly the planet’s resources. It has to integrate reusability in every field while the local production should be supported whenever possible. The linear act of construction has to transform into a circular model. If the most ecological building is the one already built, then the most ecological building method is with materials and systems that already exist and no longer need to be processed, or the least possible.
THE LEGO TOOLKIT
PETITE MAISON is about creating a building method based on construction elements that might be added, replaced or reused while total destruction is avoided. It will be a dry assembly of whenever possible prime materials and reusable elements. Similar to LEGO pieces reused endlessly in different shapes, each and every element must enter the loop by being adequate enough for reimplementation in any kind of building, whether new or existing.
The main challenge of the design team is to generate a project that contains generic reusable elements that will be reassembled in a different manner or a different context when PETITE MAISON will be dismantled. All the elements must be mechanically fixed and flexible to be readapted, extended for different assemblies.
The project REDUCE developed by the Engineering Department at the University of Luxembourg, under the coordination of Prof. Christoph Odenbreit, ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel Construction, tackles the possibility of reusing steel beams regardless their dimension, by creating a connection that provides size adaptability at different structural grids.
Our agenda is set. The first self-imposed deadline for the first design phase is at the end of March 2021. By then, we will have established the general design intend and defined our extended team.
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All the best, Carole and Dragos
© UNIVERSITY OF LUXEMBOURG