CHAIR OF ARCHITECTURE
AND URBAN DESIGN —

PROF. KEES CHRISTIAANSE

ETH Zurich – Institute for Urban Design
ONA G41 – Neunbrunnenstrasse 50 – 8093 Zurich
contact

TEACHING


ELECTIVE COURSE HS14 GRANDS PROJETS


Kings Cross Central Regeneration,  London, Allies & Morrison masterplanners. Picture © Miller Hare

EFFECTS OF LARGE-SCALE URBAN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Grands Projets in city development

In Europe, the Americas and Asia, large-scale urban developments have been witnessed for several decades. Grands Projets, defined as central, large-scale, mixed-use projects, coordinated and implemented through urban design master plans, influence  not only their immediate environment, but can also change the structures of the city or  region due to their size and strategic position and function.

Kritique to top-down planning

Grands Projets are used by local, national and international actors as top-down instruments to achieve strategic objectives. In a largely deregulated production of space, they offer the possibility to exert some influence on urban development. While Grands Projets are often successful as a real estate investment, they are prone to diverse and legitimate criticisms. These refer in particular to the lack of spatial and socio-economic connections to the local context, to sharp contrasts to existing and adjacent urban textures and cultures, and to extreme control and privatization of urban spaces and infrastructure.


Bottom-up developments

Early Grands Projets, such as Canary Wharf in London, Donau City in Vienna or La Défense in Paris, were planned as largely monofuctional areas, but developed over time into increasingly mixed-use neighborhoods. A new generation of projects, such as HafenCity Hamburg or London King's Cross, encourages versatility and adaptability as essential aspects of urban sustainability from the beginning.

Effects and strategies

In this elective class, students will analyze one or two individual Grands Projets. The focus will be on the design, implementation, effects and adaptations of the project and its context.


International research project

Grands Projets is an upcoming international research project (2015-2018). As part of the elective class, international experts will give presentations and discuss with the students on specific case studies. For interested students it is recommended to deepen case studies after the elective class into elective theses.


Meetings and organisation

The seminar will be taught both in German and in English, theses may be prepared in either language.

Wahlfach HS14 | Prof. Kees Christiaanse, Eirini Kasioumi, Christian Salewski

 

Thursdays, 16–18 Uhr, ONA E16
Thu., 18.09.2014:
Introduction and Lecture | Kees Christiaanse
Thu., 25.09.2014:
Task assignment and Lecture | Christian Salewski und Eirini Kasioumi
Thu., 06.11.2014:
Lecture | Peter Bishop: London King‘s Cross

Contact: Eirini Kasioumi