Students: Lemire Abdul Halim Chehab and Mohamad Makkouk
Directors: Michael Weinstock, George Jeronimidis
Tutors: Evan Greenberg, Mehran Gharleghi
University: Emergent Technologies and Design, AA School of Architecture, London, UK
The evolutionary development of urban form is strongly related to the nature of the climate, the availability of resources and the socio-cultural habits of the people. As cities expand, the people’s demand for energy increases. With less non-renewable resources to rely on, growing populations are turning their attention to alternative solutions in order to cover their electricity consumption.
Autonomous Infrastructures is an investigation of a new model of urbanism that considers the integration of multiple infrastructural subsets in a single cohesive system which seeks to harness energy from local renewable resources. The aim is to generate urban tissues in which the core organisational principles rely on alternative energy sources. Three types of alternative strategies are explored: solar power, waste-to-energy and passive design techniques, each having specific urban as well as architectural implications.
The dissertation includes precedents from different cities worldwide and builds upon relevant research that regards the city as an organic process. In terms of morphology, an algorithmic approach is devised to simulate urban growth, evaluate generated patches, and derive important values concerning resources and infrastructure. Resulting urban tissues recombine multiple social programmes with large vehicular flows, pedestrian walkways, public spaces and green areas. The research leads to a system with the potential of generating highly autonomous urban morphologies, adapted to local climatic conditions and social practices.