reserve space for change and celebrate the informal

This project by DUS architects is about occupying vacant lots in the urban environment for use as informal communal spaces. There is a need for a trigger in these spaces to transform them from dereliction to successful public space. The trigger used in this example is the building of a temporary hotel on-site. Sand-filled bags are used as blocks in the hotels construction. The bag of choice is the ‘china bag’ which in many countries has an almost nomadic connotation.

This idea is again represented by the participants decision to erect this building in one night which relates to the Turkish word for shanty building Gecekondu, which means ‘built over night’. Their belief is that this informality lends to stronger social connections than formally planned situations.

This is evident in the success of the project where people stayed every night for free, only being asked for a cultural contribution. Many activities happened around the hotel, including “gardening, music performances, barbeQ-restaurants, plays, children’s parties, outdoor cinema events, one day exhibitions” which shows that the initial trigger gives way to secondary uses by the community. ronanodea