THE PLAN Journal (TPJ) intends to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking and relevant research, studies and criticism in architecture and urbanism. The criteria for selecting contributions will be innovation, clarity of purpose and method, and potential transformational impact on disciplinary fields or the broader socio-cultural context. The ultimate purpose of the TPJ is to enrich the dialog between research and professional fields, in order to encourage both applicable new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice. (Maurizio Sabini)

LATEST ARTICLES

 Open Access
LANDSCAPE URBANISM
Article

Cities as Hydro-Geologic Terrain: Design Research to Transform Urban Surfaces

by: Mary Pat McGuire VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 26 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.09, published: 2018-07-02

Imperviousness is a significant design problem for the future of cities: we must reduce it, redesign it, transform it. This paper argues to insert hydro-terrain thinking to the paved surfaces of cities, instantiating the concept of “rain terrain” that links hydrologic performance across scales, from the raindrop to the region. The City of Chicago is the case study where high concentrations of pavement drain stormwater from the city - resulting in flooding, overflowing and polluting - from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. I first share research on the glaciated history of the region, to reveal sandy soil types located in the urban area. I then correlate imperviousness, permeable soils and flooding prevalence to identify a pattern of site opportunity areas in the city. I also propose design practices - through disruptions, interventions and reconfigurations of urban surface - to tap paved-over soils as the basis for a landscape-based urban stormwater approach. In doing so, this paper aims to present a vision for urban transformation, based on specific technical design opportunities within landscape-as-infrastructure.

 Subscribers only
LANDSCAPE URBANISM
Project

Chicago’s Urban Rivers

by: Carol Ross Barney VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 24 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.08, published: 2018-07-02

Chicago, like other major cities, traces its growth back to a connection with water. As the city grew, the river became the backbone of commerce and economic prosperity. However, this thriving resource was not always looked upon with a sense of stewardship and care. In the wake of post-industrialization, much of the manufacturing had moved from the banks of the Chicago River, leaving behind disconnected communities and a polluted riverbed. For nearly two decades, Ross Barney Architects has been working along Chicago’s rivers. These efforts include the design of the Chicago Riverwalk, studies on all 150 mi. [241 km] of riverfront across the city, and an exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The goal was to reconnect people with the dynamic and changing life of the river.

 Subscribers only
REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
Project

Berlin Fragments. A Heterography of an Architectural Form

by: conrad-bercah VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 23 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.07, published: 2018-06-25

Architectural form lives a number of mysterious lives that are characterized by different yet simultaneous temporalities. It has been said that a “secret date” exists between the modern and the archaic, not so much because the modern is fascinated by the archaic but because “the key to understanding the modern is hidden somewhere beneath the timeless and the pre-historical.” The mystery surrounding the intellectual sources in the architect’s work arguably lies in the multifaceted (aesthetic, sociological, political, spatial) relationships it establishes with a multitude of friends - be they artists, poets, or architects - who are responsible for his development and keep feeding his practice, even if long dead.

 Subscribers only
TYPOLOGY
Project

Modular House. Coastal Typological Prototype

by: Eric A. Gartner VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 22 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.06, published: 2018-06-25

Climate change requires new approaches to coastal settlements at all scales. The architectural community must respond with solutions not only at the urban scale, but also at the scale of the single-family home, long an integral component of the American dream. The single-family typology has been critical to the exploration of architectural ideas and basic societal needs. With shifting coastlines and rising waters, the relationship between built-form and landscape must adapt without losing the important connection between the building and its site. Equally importantly, the transformation of this building type must be broadly available to communities with a wide range of economic resources. Our firm seeks to meet this need through the use of modular construction with thoughtfully restrained site work that limits the short-term impact on the environment, while providing long-term solutions necessary for acclimating to this changing world.

 Subscribers only
REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
Project

The Headquarters of Métropole Rouen Normandie

by: Jacques Ferrier VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 41 - 56 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.05, published: 2018-04-11

The main idea behind the Métropole Rouen Normandie headquarters project by Jacques Ferrier Architecture was to unite all the “energy” that is found in this port site in France. While taking inspiration from the paintings of Claude Monet, especially of the Rouen Cathedral, the façades of the building were designed to be able to constantly change color depending on day, season, and time. The design is aimed at maximum efficiency and comfort of the offices inside. An innovative and exemplary building that is also easy and intuitive to navigate.

 Open Access
THEORY
Book Review

Exaltation of Apartness? "The Building"

by: Christophe Van Gerrewey VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 57 - 65 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.04, published: 2018-04-11

 

 Open Access
CRITICISM
Exhibition Review

Little Boxes and Big Boxes. On Donald Judd’s "Obdurate Space"

by: Kyle May , Julia van den Hout VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 33 - 40 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.03, published: 2018-02-21
 Open Access
THEORY
Conference Report

The Danish Way. The Rising Architecture Week 2017 in Aarhus

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 15 - 31 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.02, published: 2017-11-12

The Rising/Architecture Week 2017 was held in Aarhus as part of the Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017 initiatives. The array of conversations, debates, and exchange of ideas generated at Rising 2017 proved once more the vitality and the maturity of Danish design culture. 

Rooted on a strong Modernist tradition, Danish design culture weaves a savvy mix of promoting and further sharpening its brand, as well as of stimulating thoughtful reflections on relevant disciplinary and societal issues. The conference was intelligently used as vehicle to showcase the good work that is being produced not just in Copenhagen but across Central Denmark and to bring in a diverse pool of international designers, planners, critics, and thinkers. What can be called the Danish Way to design culture offers the opportunity “to rise,” above the conventional and the predictable, for an exciting view over a possible better world.

 Open Access
CRITICISM
Exhibition Review

Make New Critical Stories. A View on the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 13 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.01, published: 2017-10-13

The 2017 edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Make New History, like any other similar event, has caused debate and controversy. Beyond inevitable flaws and shortcomings, the CAB though deserves to be appreciated for the quality of most of the exhibited projects, works or installations, some of which managed also to offer what was missing in this CAB’s main theme: a critical perspective. The theme itself of the CAB is challenged, but the good works of many international architects and artists, well selected by the Artistic Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, is appreciated for their contributions to a critical discourse in our field, for their “critical stories.” Through a discussion of the curators’ hypothesis and of some of the most interesting works, as well as of some critical contributions included in the exhibition catalog, this review tries to offer a critical assessment for an event that, fortunately, has already acquired an outstanding position within the architecture cultural landscape of our time.

Board