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Ground / Potentialities of the Urban Volume

2012 - Current

EPFL / U. Laval

Affiliations: Associated Research Centres for the Urban Underground Space (ACUUS) 

How does our relationship to the urban underground change when we begin to think on the scale of our planet? When we are no longer attached to a particular patch up earth, to a single ground, but learn to encounter multiples grounds and to encode and address them virtually and physically? When the ground is no longer a homogenous poché, but a heterogeneity of geological formations that condition the possibilities of an architectonic articulation? When the city is no longer three-dimensional but n-dimensional? How can machine intelligence augment our ability to perceive and render public the potentiality of our common grounds?

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Potentialities of the Urban Volume (PhD Dissertation, EPFL, 2016)

This dissertation looks at the urban volume, in its natural and artificial materiality, as a source of potential for future urbanization. Underground resources—for buildable space, geomaterials, groundwater and geothermal energy—tend to be addressed only as needs arise. This has historically led to conflicts between uses: basements and tunnels flooded by rising aquifers; drinking water sources endangered by infrastructures that carry pollutants into groundwater systems. The work was carried out as part of the Deep City Project, which argues for a paradigm shift of ‘resources to needs’ in which the potential of underground resources is addressed prior to any urban project or plan. The work presented here further develops a methodology to map the combined potentials of resources and includes an original investigation of the spatial relationships between underground and surface urban commercial spaces.

The following publications are related to this project: 

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