Grant for Helicoidcity

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Sergio Lopez-Pineiro has received a Junior Faculty Development Fund Grant from UB School of Architecture and Planning for his proposal “Helicoidcity.”

We are at a moment in time when environmental and health related concerns, along with ambitions for the definition of clearly defined cultural urban spaces, seem to coalesce around an urban model long disregarded but now newly reborn under the somewhat fuzzy name of “walkable neighborhoods.” Walking, as the most basic healthy and environmentally friendly activity, lies at the core of this situation. Walkability, as a way of promoting a healthier living, has now become a trendy concept. Endless studies have shown the necessary design factors that any urban environment requires to be walkable: from its minimum density to its maximum size; from its walking radius to its required mix of uses; from its street connectivity to the residential layout; and so forth.

Despite the social enthusiasm that has welcomed studies on “walkable neighborhoods,” these types of observations at the urban scale have not yet taken into consideration the interior organization of the buildings themselves. This research project considers ramps as spatial elements with the capacity to regulate the interior organization of buildings. The outcome of “Helicoidcity” will be a catalogue of ramped buildings where walking constitutes the main way of accessing upper floors. The objective of this exhibition/publication will be the production of design knowledge in a format that makes it possible for other designers to use it.

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