City as a Loft: Adaptive Reuse as a Resource for Sustainable Urban Development
Architecture Event at swissnex Boston


 ETH Zurich Professor Kees Christiaanse, Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, and Dr. Marina Baum will speak about their recently published book City As Loft – Adaptive Reuse as a Resource for Sustainable Urban Development and discuss present strategies for future transformation projects.

City as a Loft excerpt:

In The History of the City, Leonardo Benevolo defines the transition from village to city as being the point at which people started to practice different professions — in other words, the point at which complex networks emerged. A thousand years later, we might now define our own concept of urbanity analogously, as being the point at which new and unexpected networks are starting to arise out of combinations of old ones. New networks of this type are forming in locations that used to be industrial estates, harbor districts, and railroad areas. In many cities, there are signs that such areas can potentially give a new spin to the concept of urbanity. Urbanity is a quality that arises out of various factors such as central location, good accessibility, a characteristic mixture of historic and contemporary elements, and larger and smaller scales. These areas have their own development histories and their own unique identities. Due to the ways in which they were previously used, they often provide very generously sized spaces and have special spatial qualities. In addition, they have symbolic value. The tension between historical significance and current usage makes it possible to release fresh creative potential. The spaces are open to the widest possible range of activities and their users are also able to identify with them, allowing different uses to develop both informally and officially in a symbiosis of cultural, day-to-day, and commercial activities. The locations can often act as catalysts for their immediate surroundings.

When: Tuesday April 9th, 2013  6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Where: swissnex Boston420 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Prof. Ir. Kees Christiaanse

Urban planner, Future Cities Laboratory Programme Leader,

founder and partner of KCAP


Prof. Kees Christiaanse studied architecture and urban planning at the TU Delft. From 1980 until 1989 he worked for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, becoming a partner in 1983. In 1989 Kees Christiaanse founded his own office ir. Kees Christiaanse Architects & Planners in Rotterdam, KCAP since 2002, which expanded to Shanghai and Zurich. From 1996 until 2003 he taught architecture and urban planning at TU Berlin (DE). Since 2003 he is professor at the ETH in Zurich (CH). In 2009 Kees Christiaanse was curator of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) entitled “Open City. Designing Coexistence”. Since 2011 Kees Christiaanse is Programme Leader of the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and Principal Investigator as well as Module Leader for Module IV ‘Urban Design Strategies and Resources’. Next to his work as an architect, Kees focuses on urban assignments in complex situations and guiding urban processes. He is a consultant to several airports and expert in the development of university campuses and in the revitalisation of former industrial, railway and harbour areas.