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Loose-Fit Architecture: Designing Buildings for Change



Loose-Fit Architecture: Designing Buildings for Change

Alex Lifschutz (Guest Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-15264-4 November 2017 144 Pages

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Loose-Fit Architecture: Designing Buildings for Change

September/October 2017
Profile 249 Volume 87 No 5
ISBN 978 1119 152644

Guest-Edited by Alex Lifschutz

The idea that a building is 'finished' or 'complete' on the day it opens its doors is hardwired into existing thinking about design, planning and construction. But this ignores the unprecedented rate of social and technological change. A building only begins its life when the contractors leave. With resources at a premium and a greater need for a sustainable use of building materials, can we still afford to construct new housing or indeed any buildings that ignore the need for flexibility or the ability to evolve over time? Our design culture needs to move beyond the idealisation of a creative individual designer generating highly specific forms with fixed uses. The possibilities of adaptation and flexibility have often been overlooked, but they create hugely exciting 'loose-fit' architectures that emancipate users to create their own versatile and vibrant environments.

Contributors include: Stewart Brand, Renee Chow, Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, John Habraken, Edwin Heathcote, Despina Katsakakis, Stephen Kendall, Ian Lambot, Giorgio Macchi, Alexi Marmot, Andrea Martin, Kazunobu Minami, Peter Murray, Brett Steele, and Simon Sturgis.

About the Guest-Editor 05
Alex Lifschutz

Introduction Long Life, Loose Fit, Low Energy 06
Alex Lifschutz

Back to the Future

The Everyday Built Environment in a Phase of Transition 18
John Habraken

Learning from the West Coast: Long-Termism and Change

An Interview with Stewart Brand 24
Peter Murray


Flexible Self-Build Cities in Germany 30
Anne-Julchen Bernhardt and Jörg Leeser

Japanese Innovation in Adaptable Homes 38
Kazunobu Minami


A Low-Carbon Strategy 46
Simon Sturgis

Four Decades of Open Building Implementation

Realising Individual Agency in Architectural Infrastructures Designed to Last 54
Stephen Kendall

The Fetish of Flexibility

Farrell/Grimshaw Partnership, 125 Park Road, London 64
Edwin Heathcote

Flexible Architecture for Evolving Work Practices 68
Despina Katsikakis

System Separation

A Fitting Strategy for Future Development 76
Giorgio Macchi

Dead and Dying Shopping Malls, Re-Inhabited 84
Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson

Shaping Mexico City

Evolutionary Housing for Low-Income Urban Families 92
Andrea Martin and Jorge Andrade

Educational Innovation through Building Adaptation 96
Alexi Marmot

Revolution and Evolution

The Architectural Association 106
Clare Wright

Continuity and Change

Challenging the Disposable Chinese City 114
Renee Y Chow

Self-Build and Change

Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong 122
Ian Lambot

Designing Landscapes for Change

Albertopolis 130
Kim Wilkie

Counterpoint Mixing Up the Mediterranean Model

Architecture Amid Urban Flux 136
Luca Molinari

Contributors 142