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Here is the project Symbiotic Vaulting: Libreville Airport by Andrew Conway Pedron, in collaboration with Rebecca Bartlett. It is a proposal for a great deal of many things under the pretense of a re-imagining of the city’s airport. The students, both part of Harvard’s GSD Options Studio, describe the project,


Courtesy of Andrew Conway Pedron and Rebecca Bartlett

From the project’s inception, issues of tooling, primarily utilizing parametric tools were set at odds against site research and architectural and landscape sensibilities. The capital of Gabon is the city of Libreville with a small population of less than one million inhabitants. To confront Libreville’s growth and development within the surrounding National Parks, this studio presents the “Park-City-Boundary” problem as a primary issue to position Libreville as a model capital for the 21st Century. Libreville is literally a city in a park: to the east by Akanda National Park, to the north by Mondah National Park and The Cap Esterias, and to the east and south by the waterfront Parks.

Courtesy of Andrew Conway Pedron and Rebecca Bartlett

They have developed a system of catenary arches which appear to be created as structural frames which provide frameworks for variable functions and programs. To this end it seems a very interesting idea. The stretching masterplan of the airport complex is a striking one. And there are some good concepts for the usage of the negative volumes of the arches. But upon the application of whatever that/ those surface(s) are, the life seems to go from the forms. I mean there is a very interesting and layered facade system for that boxy building, why isn’t that adapted to these things?

Courtesy of Andrew Conway Pedron and Rebecca Bartlett

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