‘A Model’ is an essay in the celebration of life by building.
It very much reflects the personalities in the group : makers of constructed pieces who put their hearts into each piece as if it were a world in itself. Then, in this instance, it demarcates the elements by larger-than-usual interstitial space that can (in their own words) accommodate “the user’s own additions and improvisations”. Their humanity and faith in people kicks in here, for many architects prefer to determine as many acts as possible – in the name of ‘appropriateness’ or ‘consistency’. Some architects, at the other extreme might make the whole project trickily loose and indeterminate.
They are too honest for that : they put straightforward operating parts, straightforward pieces of construction made from straightforward (and mostly ‘straight’) elements around the use known, straightforward activities of cooking, sitting, looking, sleeping and so-on. But then take another look : for there are also quirky little pockets and tantalising diagonals, where a sight-line peels away and exposes an unexpected view, or there is a nifty little pocket in which to make a small, personal activity of some sort.
Very much in the ‘human’ and ‘Danish’ tradition: but, again, with warm as well as rather clever architects : a combination that will be identified through careful scrutiny of the section and of the parts.
Sir Peter Cook
A Model of Dreams
The conceptual project ‘A Model’ seeks to create an architecture which reflects the dreams of many people. Unique homes fostering a neighborly, vibrant life between residents can arise from such a dynamic architecture, transforming and refining as these dreams are lived out. For this reason ‘A Model’ is selected for the Danish pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia 2016.
An architecture created by the life lived
To create life between houses is one of the architect's greatest challenges in housing of modern times - simple enough drawn on paper, yet impossible to prescribe. The project ‘A Model’ addresses this challenge by learning from people’s own way of building when decided among themselves. Architecture is often thought of and drawn to accommodate a specific need for the time in which it is built. Housing units become monuments of a family ideal, a need, a time for posterity. ‘A Model’ envisions a different approach in a physical prototype of a changeable and future-proof architectural model, which is created through direct dialogue between architects and users and, as such, creates the prerequisites for life to evolve.
The ambition is a more democratic, humane and lively architecture - a new type of urban housing, which can accommodate the dreams of the inhabitants today, tomorrow and for many years to come. A physical model gives shape to this mind set and visualizes a possible architecture, which can serve as a tool for dialogue between professionals and citizens or future inhabitants who engage in the conception.
A model of how we can live together
The art of ‘creating high quality architecture for the majority’ is precisely the theme of the Danish contribution - the show ’Art of Many - The Right to Space’. Extolling the theme ‘Pro Community’, the project is exhibited in a 1:50 physical model, which demonstrates how we can live with others without compromising individual desires.
The project suggests a new kind of building, where the realization and evolution of the building occurs in an ad-hoc and constant dialogue. The architecture becomes a result of a direct dialogue between professionals and citizens, who negotiate, share, fight and rejoice in the building process. The underlying principles of ‘A Model’ is based on studies of how people build and live when they decide themselves. The program suggest how architects can transfer these principles to new urban housing designs and create conditions for a lively daily life, adapting to changes over the years and generations. The building hosts public functions such as a cinema, library, restaurant, gardens, terraces and party facilities on the roof top. The spacious public staircase acts as a connecting element between these public functions and the family homes, artist studios, and homes for the elderly, which form the private life of the building unit.
The program is based on the use of spaces and the relationship between functions rather than ownership and rights. All spaces are common which promotes a continuous negotiation between community and individuals. Moreover it includes unprogrammed spaces between individual houses and so promotes flexible use.
The program relate to the use of space, to scale, aesthetics, materials and temporality, and a 30-70% mix of public and private programs to ensure a constant presence and exchange of people.
The grid, the stairwell, the installations and the elevator, are all large scale elements constructed with permanent materials such as concrete and steel, which together form a stable system. They are regular, symmetric and monotone to balance the mix of styles of the inhabitants’ own houses and keep the overall aesthetic and scale in order.
Public programs such as the library, kindergarten, restaurant, terraces, stable and theatre, can be built into the system in more or less permanent materials and structures according to the decisions of the community, yet they act as permanent until otherwise is decided.
Private houses are built by the inhabitants - by themselves or in collaboration with the architect. The houses have to relate one way or another to the public programs, shared spaces and their neighbours in addition to the inclusion of an indoor-outdoor relationship such as terrace, green house, winter garden etc.
Yet the buildings are built according to individual style and need. The houses are small scale and can be built by few people with materials such as wood, plastic, tin, plaster etc., which make changes and adaption possible.
Press & Contact
For any enquiries about the project A Model, please contact Tyra Dokkedahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For use of images or text for press, please download AModel.zip
A group of four, young architects, graduated from The School of Architecture, The Danish Royal Academy of Art, and UCL Bartlett, is behind the project A Model. The project is a collective remake of Tyra Dokkedahl's thesis project from 2012. It is supported by the Danish Art Workshops and is selected for the exhibition ‘Art of Many - Right to Space’ in the Danish pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia 2016.
A Model is made by (Copyright)
Tyra Lea Amdisen Dokkedahl, Architect
Frida Sophie Vang Petersen, Architect
Victor Gammelgaard, Architect
Thais Kvejborg Espersen, Architect
With special thanks to
Sir Peter Cook
With help from
Marie Partoft, Communication
Leonora Krag, Architecture student
Niklas Adrian Vindelev, Photography
System 4t, Digital and technical consultants
Signe Emma Kristjansen, web design
Anna Xene Marchant, translation
Credit on photographs
Images are property of the project owners, and can be used for press about the project.
Images shall be credited Niklas Adrian Vindelev and Leonora Krag