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Firms like Lacaton Vassal in the US?

civitas

Firms like Lacaton Vassal in the US?

 
May 18, 20 3:32 pm
Haha Hadude

Like from a social housing aspect or what is the 'likening' factor?

May 18, 20 4:22 pm  · 
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civitas

Good question. This might be a bit rambling, but I hope it illuminates my understanding of their practice. 

They have a focus on low-cost, low-tech, and high concept public builds. They use a lot of building systems from other industries - i.e. greenhouses to create "luxury" as in extra space not that may not have been present in the brief.

My take is that they don't believe that design can really make things better. I'm thinking of the example where they we're commissioned to design a public park in Paris, they studied it and proposed no new design was necessary and that they should use the fee for maintenance. 

May 18, 20 4:49 pm  · 
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Haha Hadude

To Koww's point below, tons of regulation in this age in the US that doesn't allow for this type of ingenuity. I think it can be done for sure, but you'd have to be extremely persuasive and creative to get things like what you're talking about through design review, local building code, etc... And a very curious/creative developer! You could self-develop or crowd fund, which would make the money part.. easier?? If you can convince the bank or thousands of people to give you money and believe in your project. I love when Architects place systems or materials into an elegant setting that people haven't realized before. I think it gives the closest genuine experience to planned grittiness or old v. new without being crude. It's genius if it's done right. If you find any here in the US please share! Lastly - I think that most things here in the US are not that old, so everyone is still on that "New, new, new!" trend that doesn't allow for exploration into other industries systems as much as we should be. Just my rambling!

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Haha Hadude

I'm sure you've heard of Olson Kundig, which lets their ingenuity play into the mechanics of using a building, but their great works like that only show at that detail in craft in single-family residences, that are not cheap. I'm thinking of Chicken Point Cabin in particular.

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monosierra

Lacaton Vassal is one of a kind even in Europe. Maybe MASS Design has something of that low cost, low tech ethos - not to mention the a common African background? But MASS wouldn't say no to an opportunity to build. I wonder if Rural Studio is closer in spirit to Lacaton Vassal. European government's patronage of housing and cultural buildings is a far cry from what goes on in the US, where developers and private foundations are the best patrons designers could look to.

May 18, 20 5:27 pm  · 
1  · 
Koww

Lactation Mammal

May 18, 20 11:28 pm  · 
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tduds

Not gonna lie I was skimming the forums & definitely read this as "Lactation Vessel" ...time for another coffee.

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Koww

We don't really have social housing in the US with any freedom for design. Everything has to be tested to ASTM, UL, etc. and there is no political will to experiment with "taxpayer's money". Maybe someone will fill this gap in the market and find a way to make a profit off "affordable" housing but it is not likely because the most creative people are interested in other things that are much more profitable.

May 18, 20 11:38 pm  · 
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CodesareFUN

The closest you’ll get with good/great design in affordable housing is David Baker in SF, Koning Eizenberg in LA, Landon Bone Baker in Chicago, and MAP in NYC. 

May 19, 20 12:07 am  · 
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Brooks & Scarpa in LA have a qualitative approach to housing, similarly to L&V, and are particularly sensitive towards the social aspect of the buildings they design. I do think they are much more idealistic than Lacaton & Vassal considering your description of them, but they're really making it work.

May 22, 20 3:37 pm  · 
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randomised

Sorry but none of the offices listed here are really comparable to the conceptual and material approach and inventiveness of Lacaton Vassal. They're one of a kind and future Pritzker material if you'd ask me...Their work is rooted in a Social Democratic European context that puts people first, not the Hyper-Capitalism of the US that puts money before all else.

May 22, 20 4:12 pm  · 
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ae_0

There are no firms like Lacaton Vassal in the US.

May 27, 20 10:29 am  · 
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