11. Alvar Aalto and the Wooden Pavilions: Towards the Tectonic Dissolution of the Matter - Doctoral Thesis (Spanish/English)
Suau, C., 2001, UPC Net, Barcelona, Spain, pp 01-260

Abstract
The emphasis on the technical efforts carried out at the World Fairs -and mainly the pavilions- do not necessary trigger the architectural answer that is expected, in the sense of fostering new spatial reflections and innovative building contribution on the idea of transitory, ephemeral and elemental architecture and its particular tectonics trails. It means that, within the spatial, material and technological concepts that we produce around the idea of the pavilion of representation at the World Fairs, there exists a lack of knowledge and loss of manifestoes as well. The latest World Fairs such as in Seville, 1992; in Lisbon, 1998 or in Hannover, 2000 have been more than large-scale technological events or real-state operations oriented to surprise rather than transform or guide up. These are a cultural radiography that show out our current architecture under the progressive loss of a genuine dwelling; mostly expressed in the idea of the pavilion of representation. Hence, the pavilions are, on one hand, intuitive inventions engendered by accidents that lead into a visionary and experimental living and, on the other hand, contain profound cultural features and elementary techniques. The doctoral research has been focused on two main questions. In terms of research by design, how does the textile meaning interact within the matter of Aaltian pavilions? How have these pavilions found out the essential tectonic trail?
In order to understand these inquiries, we might analyse the close relationship between Aalto’s pavilions and the language of a singular material: wood. To Aalto, a pavilion was a sort of “(...) fantastic structure of free forms... a building with an inner facade” and added “(the pavilion) is an assemblage... a space completely varied”. The thesis describes the artwork of Aaltian pavilions as a process rather than finished pieces of architecture. Each chapter shows a gradual approach from the notion of pavilion and the tectonics of Semper applicable in elemental spaces for display. Then it establishes a textile pathway from a compact, monumental and bulky skin in the early pavilions into a turbulent, liquid and fibrous membrane. The main chapter take a specific time gap by investigating three Aaltian pavilions, from 1937 until 1939, which initiates a fascinating transformation from a Cartesian mechanism to a fluctuating organism, most distinctively expressed in the full-ignored ‘Metsapaviljonski’ or forest pavilion in Lapua.
The Lapua pavilion –fugitive, ungraspable and temporary potential dwelling- emerges as a playful manifesto of Aalto’s experimentalism. This pavilion-organism establishes a double dialogue: from Nature to Architecture and from Architecture to Nature by scaling a sort of elastic mould. The situation is that the place houses the building as the building moulds the place.
Conclusions. In order to discover this Semperian trail in the artwork of the Aaltian pavilions, certainly we might explore the notion of elemental wooden shed. By accident, the graphic documentation and rendering of Lapua pavilion reveal a tight link to the wood-framing used in a traditional Finn-Lappish Kota. The result of both design strategies is the camouflage, where indoor and outdoor spaces are deleted and appear a landscape without constraints. Each pavilion defines an intimate topographic relationship with the woodscape and its primary forms, looking to forge a metaphor of the thermal home in a remote world, using primal architectural tools: row matter, elemental framing and the flows of nature and nomadic cultures as output of a veil in motion. This membrane constitutes the poetic and technical dwelling of the Aaltian pavilion. Here, we may conclude that the matter -wood as substance- moulds the form -the pavilion as organism- which dissolves in its own shape.

Keywords: Wooden Pavilions, Tectonics, Compactness, Lightness, Agile Fabrication

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12. The Metsapaviljonski: Form follows Wood
Suau, C., 2008, 10th International DOCOMOMO (proceedings), IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 27-32, ISBN 978-1-58603-917-2

Abstract
Nowadays, the emphasis in the design of exposition pavilions is mainly full of pseudo-technical or rhetorical ideas of progress. Nevertheless most of them do not communicate a vision. They show a lack of spatial qualities and continuity with the built environment. In general, there is not a common conservation agenda to adapt or reuse exemplary Modern pavilions. Some emblematic cases are haunted icons, a consequence of undocumented, incorrect or simply fake reconstruction, whilst others are victims of neglectfulness and degradation. Nevertheless, what can we still rediscover by reviving or reconstructing Modern Movement Exposition pavilions?
During the 1930s, pavilions were not only visionary and experimental manifestations of living systems but were also temporary and fast-built showrooms disseminating a cultural or ideological message.
By exploring the work of the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, we find that all his Modern timber exposition pavilions have been rapidly dismantled. What kind of continuity can we generate by rebuilding Aaltian pavilions? How did this sense of primitiveness become a manifesto for the use of rudimentary within Modern Movement Architecture? In order to respond to these queries, we must search on the idea of Aalto’s space-frame as a ‘(...) fantastic structure of free forms; a building with an inner façade’. This pavilion-type becomes an organism of assemblage.
Metsäpaviljonski or the Forest Pavilion, built in Lapua in 1938, was characterised by a sense of impermanency of the framework, fleetingness of the event, and primitiveness in the use of wood. The first condition refers to durability of the structure, the second one implies a transient condition of use, and the third one contains the essential material. Despite it being an ignored masterpiece of Nordic ephemeral architecture, the design cleverly combined Modern and traditional ideas of fabrication. The spatial outcome was both tent and hut. It synthesized a morphological transformation, evolving from a geometric form into a fluctuating organism. The
Forest Pavilion was an elementary space for display: a primitive frame wrapped by turbulent and fibrous textile patches.
Exposition Pavilions as structures are inherently transitory. This establishes a double dialogue: From nature to architecture and from architecture to nature. Thus the Forest Pavilion emerges as a playful manifesto of Primitiveness. Following a Semperian viewpoint, the Forest Pavilion re-bridges the ideas of Modernism rooted in vernacular living rather than avant-garde trends. It refers to the notion of the Finnish tent, kota, a temporary nomadic dwelling based on the logic of ‘camouflage’, where its skin constitutes the bark or shell.
In Lapua Pavilion, form follows wood.

Keywords: Wooden Pavilions, Tectonics, Compactness, Lightness, Agile Fabrication

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13. Fabricating New Spatial Systems
Suau, C. & Markuekiaga, N., 2006, Revista 180, nr 17, FAAD, Santiago de Chile, pp 18-21. ISSN 0718-2309

Abstract
Architects can be the driving force in the search of smart solutions both for housing production and the built environmental crisis, bridging these two factors through providing affordable housing designs by using smart materials and systems. Starting with the premises that there is no waste but only transformable resources, design researchers have the possibility to detect the potentialities and find the optimum way to reuse them as building components for frameworks. This article shows the optimum way of using the material as generator of new structures, skins and forms; new assembling processes and programmatic adaptability in houses. Three architectural cases –movable dwellings, pallets and tyres housing systems– and a workshop experience will be presented in depth as fickle solutions.

Keywords: Spatial manifesto, Eco-frames, Smart technologies

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14. Fog Collection and Sustainable Architecture in Coast Desert
Suau, C., 2011, 5th International Conference on Fog and Fog Collection, Muenster, 2010. Conference proceedings, pp. 179-188 (http://www.fogconference.org)

Abstract
The provision of drinking water turns out to be one of the great challenges for the future. Worldwide about one billion people have no access to the essential wet, because central water supply systems cannot technically and logistically be realized or the connection is uneconomic. On the other hand nature has been managing for thousands of years on its own as regards the safeguarding of the survival in dry regions – by the procurement of water from the humidity of the air with often amazing complementary mechanisms. Planet Earth needs to find out new ways to tackle climate into sustainable living by providing a more effective and holistic management of renewable energies like solar, wind and water supplies, particularly when it is reinforced by science-based innovations in the landscape, urban and domestic contexts. FogHive© is determined as much by climatic and geographic factors as by any alternative for appropriate technologies. Its main aim is stopping desertification by repairing endangered fog oases ecosystems, and harvesting water for drinking and irrigation and fostering potential inhabitation in self-sufficient polyhedral configurations along arid coasts of our planet like Peru, Chile, Namibia, Spain, Greece, Yemen, China and others latitudes. Due to intermittent winds, it also generates wind-based electricity. Therefore the main outcome is to incorporate zero-carbon design in sustainable landscape and architectural design and thus envision potential inhabitation through autonomous space-frame configurations along the arid coastlines.
In order to achieve the shape, frame and components of FogHive©, EcoFab took into account three main climatic factors: wind (direction and speed), humidity and temperature. Parametric design was used to test various solutions of water collection in different scales, from landscape to domestic.
FogHive© is a 3D experimental design prototype, which employs an agile and autonomous space-frame to trap atmospheric water in arid lands and then harvest water for drinking and irrigation. This prototype has been tested throughout climatic and structural design simulations in any coastal context such as the Atacama Desert (Tarapacá Region, Chile). In addition to this, this device is able to produce electricity through a central vertical turbine. To intersect water the frame is wrapped by hydrophobic fabrics that also performs as and shading system. This design patent upgrades the following aspects of fog collection:
1. Increasing rate and yield of advection fog by taking into account harvesting rate and climatic parameters
2. Structural reinforcement of fog collectors through lightweight, modular and deployable polygonal space-frames
3. Reducing installation and maintenance of fog collection (material research)
4. Purification of drinking water due to concentrations of pollutants
5. Lowering physical impacts on surrounding

FogHive© is a lightweight, polyvalent and modular space-frame, fully wrapped with a light hydrophobic mesh, which can collect water fog. It also performs like a shading/cooling device and a soil humidifier for greenery and potential inhabitation. Being a transformable construction, it can easily be installed on flatten or uneven grounds. Its footprint is hexagonal. Regarding the scale of intervention, FogHive© unit varies its dimensions. The landscape model has a 12m side; the local model a 9m side and the domestic model has a 6m side.
A. Territorial scale model: Fog oases
This is a large polyhedral telescopic fog catchers (hexagonal footprint, side equal to 12m) aligned in strategic sides of natural creeks or valleys, which will impede desertification in rural settlement or natural landscapes. Those devices bring micro-agriculture back and repair fragile ecosystems (native flora and fauna) by harvesting and distributing mainly crop water. The strategic allocation of fog collectors can not only bring local agriculture back and decrease rural emigration but also repair existing fragile ecosystems in several fog oases by harvesting and distributing mainly crop water.
B. Local scale model: Coastal settlements
This is a mid-size polyhedral standing alone fog catcher (hexagonal footprint, side equal 9m) to supply both water and electricity to small communities (sustainable micro-agriculture and rural electrification) in natural and urban environments. This space-frame fog collector can be allocated in Cerro Guanaco, a fog oasis nearby Alto Patache, a low-income sprawl. It can provide water and electricity to small communities through forestation, sustainable micro-agriculture and electrification.
C. Domestic scale model: Autonomous dwellings
This is an autonomous small polyhedral space-frame (hexagonal footprint, side equal 6m) manufactured with timber, galvanised steel or carbon fibre. This inhabitable unit is modular, deployable and lightweight, with an adjustable textile system that performs as a water-repellent skin when it faces South and SW winds and shading fabrics (mainly roof and North–NE-NW sides), plus blades plugged in the base frame. The water collector, filtering (purification) and irrigation network considers available materials and techniques.

Currently Deutsche Institute Fur Textil- und Faserforschung Denkedorf (DE) and ECOFAB (UK) are associated in a collaborative research proposal called 'FOWATIN: Water from Air Humidity: Future Water Supply by Textile Innovations', which is been evaluated by the DIRECTORATE GENERAL FOR RESEARCH & INNOVATION (EU) 'Theme 4 – NMP - Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies' (FP7-NMP-2011-SME-5 Stage 2).

The aim is the development of innovative textile based systems to gain water from humidity of the air (fog/dew) without further energy supply. Based on competent biological studies of high efficient mechanism in living nature the developments include materials, which are able to collect already condensed water drops (fog) and/or humidity by capillary condensation as well as cool themselves by special coatings. Therefore advanced textile fibres and surface structures and coating processes performed for a high condensation and coalescence with modifications on microscopic and macroscopic level will to be developed. In combination with the third dimension, the desired air permeability and the efficient aerosol separation is aimed. With confection methods the new systems will be supplied with the textile modules. Different applications are in the focus: Supply of water for larger settlement units and in agriculture dew producing roofs with shadowing effect for plants, which are growing beneath. The markets are in dry regions, especially in summer time in the Mediterranean area, which are suffering from water but also for humidity separation in industrial processes. The market for innovative technical textiles is expected in some million m²/year. Suffering from water will be reduced and new settlement will be possible. In industrial processes the recycling of water with reduced energy demand will be reached.

Keywords: 3D fog collectors, Smart Textile System, Deployability, Lightness

Research project (paper)
Design project (initial phase)

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15. FogHive©: Fog Collection & Sustainable Architecture in the Atacama Coast
Suau, C., 2011, MADE journal, issue 6, The Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, pp. 31-40 ISSN 1742-416X

Abstract
It seems imperative to integrate renewable energy and climatic design in zero-carbon buildings in arid lands by employing natural and social science based innovations applied in natural or built environs. The aim of this initial research is twofold: on one hand, to establish general climatic design codes for potential fog collection in different scales and, on another hand, to augment the rate and yield of fog collection used for irrigation and also drinking water in natural and urban areas. The purpose is to incorporate zero-carbon design in sustainable landscape and architectural design and thus envision potential inhabitation through autonomous space-frame configurations along the coast of Tarapacá Region, Chile. In a sequential way, FogHive© distinguishes three scales of interventions: territorial, local and domestic.
FogHive© integrates climatic, structural and constructional factors by employing agile space-frame fogtraps; implementing appropriate low-passive energy technologies; and combining hydrophobic and shading fabrics. FogHive© upgrades the following aspects:
1. Increasing rate and yield of advection fog by taking into account harvesting rate and climatic parameters
2. Structural reinforcement of fog collectors through lightweight, modular and deployable polygonal space-frames
3. Reducing installation and maintenance of fog collection (material research)
4. Purification of drinking water due to concentrations of pollutants
5. Lowering frame impacts on ground and surrounding mainly in lomas
The survey methods consist of a literature review; fieldwork; a comparative analysis of existing fog collection’s techniques; and climatic design simulations.

Keywords: 3D fog collectors, Deployable frames, Irrigation water in arid lands,

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16. Neglectfulness in the Preservation and Continuity of Late-Modern Architecture: St Peter’s Seminary by Gillespie, Kidd and Coia
Suau, C. & Mc Vicar M., 2008, 10th International DOCOMOMO (proceedings), IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 81-86, ISBN 978-1-58603-917-2

Abstract
Manfredo Tafuri’s critiques in the 1960’s challenged perceptions of Modernism as fixed and absolutist. Advocating operative criticism as a tool to differentiate myth from history, Tafuri proposed redefinitions which enabled hybridization and continuity. In today’s culture of congestion, how may Tafuri’s redefinitions offer insights into the fate of a Late Modernist ruin? Such questions are under scrutiny at Gillespie, Kidd & Coia’s St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross, Scotland. Emerging from a collision of visionary forces, shifting ideologies and unprecedented permissiveness, this building constitutes neither an archaeological ruin, nor is it yet an architectural icon. It is, however, attaining an increasingly mythical status. Seemingly uninhabitable, yet passionately defended; variously proposed as archaic ruin, preserved icon, or re-branded hybrid complex, architects, developers, owners, and preservationists engage in furious debates over what should ’appropriately’ be preserved: frame, or function? Should this Modernist ruin be mythologised as an icon, or should the latent frame be consolidated to re-interpret its function and image? Tafuri’s critiques of myth and history offer frameworks to explore such alternatives: this paper reviews the consequences of creating an architectural myth at Cardross.
The mythology of Cardross begins with its spectacularly short life as a seminary. Commissioned in 1953 during a post-war building boom, the seminary responded to optimistic projections of growth for Roman Catholic congregations in redeveloping city centres and New Towns. An expansive church building program suggested the need for a facility to train 102 priests at St Peters College in the grounds of Kilmahew House at Cardross, 33 kilometers from the center of Glasgow. To undertake this ambitious proposal, the Archdiocese continued a long-established relationship with Glasgow based architects Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, who had completed numerous acclaimed Modernist churches over the previous twenty years. Their experience, combined with a robust economy and the autonomy of the architect’s role in mid 1950’s Britain, encouraged – demanded- a visionary response from the lead designers, Isi Metzstein and Andy Macmillan . Completed in 1966, Cardross was immediately and overwhelmingly declared an architectural success, winning a RIBA Bronze Regional Award in 1967. Functional success was less conclusive; the complex was never fully occupied, and, after only fourteen years operating as a seminary, was abandoned and de-consecrated. Since 1980, the Archdiocese has adopted a condition of laissez-faire, relinquishing the building as a heavily weather-damaged and vandalized ruin in an overgrown forest.
Two decades of continued dereliction have only intensified the allure. Active coalitions of architects and artists have vigorously lobbied for recognition of the project, achieving an ‘A’ category historical listing, inclusion in the World Monument Fund’s 2007 review of endangered buildings, and top ranking in a 2008 Prospect Magazine list of the best 100 modern buildings in Scotland. A significant amount of literature has reviewed various alternatives for the fate of Cardross: Acceptance as heroic ruin, reconstruction as iconic museum, reconfiguration as housing.

Keywords: Obsolescence, Repair, Reprogramming

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17. TYRE_SPACE©: Elastic Building Frames Applied in Urban and Rural Environments
Suau, C. & Ayala, F., 2006, PLEA proceedings 2006, Volume 2, pp 228-234. ISBN 1902916166 (http://www.unige.ch/formcont/plea2006)

The purpose of this research by design is to provide new ecological building frames made of whole disused tyres and by-products. This study focuses on the generation of geodesic and elastic frames and mainly its potential applications as dwellings, greenhouses and games. It also develops low technologies and smart insulation systems by using trashed whole tyres, rubber sheets, plastic straps and packaging or expanded foam. It has been carried out at Barcelona School of Architecture, Spain and also at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts, NTNU, Norway (Text from 'TYRE_SPACE©: Elastic Building Frames Applied in Urban and Rural Environments', PLEA 2006: The 23rd Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Geneva, 2006).

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
The TYRE_SPACE© is initially conceived as a low tech prefab, compact rubber space that is both environmentally responsible and is available as an affordable waste product everywhere. It is a simple tyre-framed modular unit, consisting of pentagons and hexagons 'chunks' and simply a web. The geodesic form consists of 6 or 7 trashed tyres, depending on the modular geometry, encircle each module. As result, we obtain a 'sphere' or domes, a sort of big football ball ready to be inhabited. It also appears to float above the ground, expressing its minimal environmental impact by touching the earth very lightly.
The TYRE_SPACE© demonstrates the wise use of rubber components to fabricate lightweight spaces with an abstract frame. Tyres have many advantages as a structural material. And trashed tyres can be easily re-used and re-cycled at the end of a structure's life. In addition, a tyre does not warp or rot, and it is impervious to termite attack or another biological agents.

WHAT MAKES TYRE-SPACE© SPECIAL?
Why choose trashed whole tyres? The TYRE_SPACE© demonstrates the use of rubber components to fabricate lightweight spaces with an abstract frame. Tyres have many advantages as a structural material. And trashed tyres can be easily re-used and re-cycled at the end of a structure's life. In addition, a tyre does not warp or rot, and it is mpervious to termite attack or another biological agents. Each tyre-framed module is crowned by a shimmering opening in the middle that hovers above the inner space. The frame is eye-catching but dynamic and practical. It is designed to shade the living spaces, reflect radiant heat, and might support solar collectors or photovoltaic panels. A single sphere or the like could be an emergency house, a vacational shed, a studio, a playground or a greenhouse. You can also combine two or more spheres to form a large residential or playground complex or an eco-village with corrals, patios and dwellings.
The internal layout is open and it can easily be configured to suit individual needs. And it will be possible to start with a single unit –either circular or hexagonal- and add a second or third module as occupants grow. This kicking ass design can be positioned to make the most of any site. The orientation, the views of the surroundings, local wind patterns and approach from the street are all considered when locating the modules on a site. The inherent flexibility of the modular system allows views and sun to be manually controlled. Because the TYRE_SPACE© is an off-site fabrication, disruption to the site is minimal – the only site works required are simple screw-pile foundations and utility connections. Solar panels and grey water treatment have been incorporated. And it can be easily removed, leaving practically no trace of its existence in the landscape.

Keywords: Reuse of materials, low-tech building systems, elastic junk-frames & trashed tyres

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18. Bratislava Transformation (English)
Suau, C. & Savol, P., 1999, Awarded project, international entry competition for the urban rehabilitation of Bratislava’s historic centre. Projekt, N° 3 (1999), Slovakia, pp 38-39

Abstract
This urban project offers a double transformation. On one hand, it activates the run-down and fragmented public spaces by the main bridge and waterway zone and in another hand it improves the inner fabric through a strategy of pedestrianisation of the old alleyway and medieval street. The private vehicles are stored underneath the grade level in compacts car park boxes. According to the jury the merit of this proposal lies in the ability to 'clean' and simplify the current traffic network with a homogeneous paving layer.

Keywords: Wooden Pavilions, Tectonics, Compactness, Lightness, Agile Fabrication

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19. Redesigning European Suburbia for Rambling and Transit: Emerging concepts in Almere, Holland
Suau, C., & Lascelles, M., 2007, 4th International Seminar on Urbanism and Urbanization (ISUU), TU Deft, Holland (09/2007), pp 122-124. ISBN 978-90-786558-04-7

Abstract
Sprawl cities are one of the most significant and urgent urban issue in Europe due to its mono-functionality. Public transportation in sprawls is a need in many places. Yet most Europeans persist in their desire to live farther and farther away from urban centers, moving to exurbs made up almost entirely of single-family residential houses and stand-alone retail zones. This research study analyses several configurations and patterns applied in the suburban areas of Almere, The Netherlands, based on the critical study of Almere Homerus masterplan and the Europan projects carried out in the same area (www.europan.org). On one hand, this comparative study shows new design strategies of agile urban interventions in European sprawls and on other hand, it explores the principles of “General Mobility” coined by Yona Friedman based on new frameworks in existing fabrics or dysfunctional spaces by formulating tridimensional mobile and hybrid networks.

Keywords: Suburbia, programmatic infills, new urban tissues, re-densification

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20. The Mall in the Online Shopping Era
Suau, C. & Munar, M., 2009, 4th IFoU conference proceedings on 'The New Urban Question, ISBN 9789078658139, pp. 151-160 (http://newurbanquestion.ifou.org)

Abstract
This study is focused on the evolution of massive retail architecture as polyvalent container and consistent public space no longer located in the periphery, but as generic spaces within inner cities. Its aim is also to reflect on the adaptation of these large commercial complexes as they are affected by the new digital market and their impact on the urban design concerning public interiors in European cities. Some exemplary types of shopping malls: L'Illa in Barcelona, Spain; Almere Stad shopping centre in Almere, Holland and St David's in Cardiff, UK, have been critically compared by analysing their urban, formal and functional transformations.

Keywords: Urban Design, Public Spaces, Retail Shopping, Malls, Web-shopping

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