Our main idea was to separate the river from the green area and by doing so to create two different orientation sides that go along with different qualities of life, that allows a much more dense housing-typology. We intended to shorten the river flow and decrease the water speed during flood season with ‚green cuts’ through the mainland. These green canals would be carved into the ground – in this way they could accomodate initial water amounts of the flood and therefore would be unattractive for the inhabitants to built on. They would provide open space where nature can develop. Our housing typology provides a modular system, laid down on a grid organization, that is broken down to an individual, flexible unit. This Unit can be combined and adapted to different uses as needed and would be erected with prefabricated columns and beams – where walls could be filled up with brick.
The sub-block sits between a private unit and a communal block, fulfilling many of the inhabitants infrastructural needs internally. Minimal interventions on the ground floor preserve the walls as space defining elements, resulting in both a continuity of the social structure and a solid base for the physical intervention. Due to the very random arrangement of these concrete and brick walls, the vertical extension consists of a wooden frame construction, adapting to each specific structural situation. Each sub-block accommodates one new building with drinking water collection facilities, providing the other sub-block units with fresh water. Waste water is dealt with in a similar fashion, where one unit houses a purifying system, treating all sub-block waste water.
Our main concept for the block was to use the supporting walls of the existing structures as ‘roots’ for our flexible, wooden light-frame construction that would span over them and provide our housing-units. We create an expanded second floor that connects the units and therefore provides public and circulation space as well as the opportunity for rooftop gardening. This new housing-level would not be affected by seasonal flooding. Each block we equip with at least one of our new buildings that improve the situation and organisation of the existing block by providing a water tank that secures the water supply of the other units, a filtration system for sewage water and a waste-collection spot. The water tank is fed by rainwater collected by our water channelling system that is composed of the housing units’ roofs.
We see the unit as being a private living space for one family. Due to the high density and a preferable direct connection to the ground floor, the unit becomes a vertical addition of space, adjustable to the needs of the inhabitants. The Units are arranged around a concrete core containing water storage and sanitary functions, together with the core, the concrete load bearing walls build a base structure and provide enough stability against flooding and permanently wet ground. In upper floors of the building the construction changes to a light flexible wooden frame system.