The project considers the contemporary crisis in the housing sector of Sweden caused by the extremely high prices of real estate. It develops a solution where different stakeholders join together to create a mixed-use space both for community activities and private housing. In this case, whilst paying attention to the suggestive actors of the city suggestive, the project imagines a partnership between Gothemburg Botanical Garden, the Municipality and future users of this area. The outcome of this joint activity is EMPORIUM, from the Greek term Empòrion (a portual place of exchange of goods and relationships) and NATURAE, due to the different species of vegetation play one of the main roles in the functional and spatial design, with masses and voids that affects the light, the circulation and the feelings.
The design of the public space is conceived bearing in mind the positive effects of vegetation in relation to the global quality of the space. In addition to the spatial and emotional aspects it is also significant from an technical point of view when considering aspects fitodepurative water management, the almost-passive energy balance, the use of renewables energies, the biomass waste treatment and the aeroponic growing technology.
Subsequently the ground floor is considered as an underwood, where the shadow and the contact with the water is a resource and not a limit, allowing for the opportunity of using fitodepuration for the stormwater treatment. In the upper floors the species are considered in relation to the different functions and levels of light and permeability: medium height plants for the first floor called The Wood, which is an extension of the Botanical Garden; herbs and spices for the Herbs Garden in the second floor linked with commercial purpose and greenery for the third floor Shared garden, where the community can produce and share food and vegetables.
Behind these spaces there is a structural concept in which all the masses are hanging from the primary structure, thanks to upper truss beams that work both as a connection between structural elements and as a first definition of spaces and modules.
Thinking in terms of modularity and with a clear idea of the experience of Fun Palace by Cedric Price, the whole building is conceived as a modular dry assembled raw infrastructure, in order to improve construction processes, controlling costs and time, while enhancing the industrial heritage of Frihamnen.As a result, all the housing units on the east and west sides of the central green space take into account two milestones:
The first one is the assembling approach achieved with raw building materials like steel frames for the structures, polycarbonate and/or polyuretane panels for the walls. The envelope is conceived as a continuous double greenhouse facade made of polycarbonate, giving the idea of a diaphanous and translucent solid and enhancing the blurred threshold between internal and external spaces.
The idea of giving all the users a ‘’free’’ incremental space is the second key point. The concept is a space that may change its use due to their living habits, in order to allow them to be emotionally and practically involved in their own way to feel at home, enhancing the time factor made by changes and transformations that affects all our life cycle. Spatially conceived as an empty duplex module, attached to each housing unit, this space is functionally designed as a greenhouse that can also help building heating performances in the same way of the facade.