Bettina Dobler & Melanie Ziegler_Unit

The concept for our unit is the mobile public space. The unit is made of a concrete grid. The ground floor is completely open and has a temporary use for markets or sport places. Above the normal flood line are two housing floors. There the concrete grid is filled up with a light bamboo construction. The third floor has a semipublic function, because the water tank and all the sanitary services are located there and they are used by 4 or 5 families together. The temporary uses from the ground floor can move up to the roof level during the flood. The connected roofs create an emergency exit to the dry areas. We don’t built new units right next to the river, where the flood goes up to 6 meter.

Maite Bravo lecture

Maite Bravo is currently part of the Master Program Faculty at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalunya (IAAC), teaching in one of the main Research Studios. During her visit to ETH, Maite presented a brief overview of the work carried out at IAAC related to the core Research Agendas of the Master Program, associated to Emergent Territories, Self Sufficiency and Digital Tectonics.  Further details of the work at IAAC can be found at

The Unit

The kampung at present is structured in terms of roughly 250 living units per hectare. Can the footprint of the kampung unit dwelling be further developed to attain a higher density or must it be fundamentally transformed? What is the minimal unit size, and how can it be combined into larger units? Part of the tectonic constraints of the unit will in fact be dictated by the river landscape and its varying flood levels. Students will be asked to consider three unit conditions: normal flooding, high flooding and extreme flooding. Depending on the location and level under study, the approach to designing each unit may change. The goal of unit design is to find a means of integrating the flood as a natural phenomenon within the city fabric. The unit will also inform strategies to improve the adjacent landscape, to adapt it and make it evolve into a new and productive environmental paradigm. Different unit scenarios and typologies will emerge from studio depending on their specific location and the way dynamic forces such as water, vegetation and location are worked-through together and interact with each other. The unit design will require several tectonic and topological guidelines following:

Landscape: topography, water and gardens; Dwelling density, tectonics and typology; Common spaces and connections; Collection, sanitation and services.