Public Building

Public Building investigates the future of public buildings, the public realm, and the role of the public in the built environment. 

Dokk1, Aarhus (Denmark) / schmidt/ hammer/ lassen/ architects/ and Kristine Jensen / photo © Adam Mørk


Designing for the public means creating meaningful and culturally valuable buildings and civic spaces, for communities as well as individuals. Public Building researches and designs buildings with public programs and spaces that enhance the quality of life and act as catalysts for the development of their environment. In an era in which the mono-functional public building is disappearing, this means that Public Building focuses not only on public functions and programs. It also focuses on their combinations and interactions with semi-public, commercial, and private domains. It investigates how different kinds of contexts, sites and conditions influence design for culture, health, education, work, and leisure. Public Building also studies the change of building properties as a consequence of the responsibilities that designers have for the construction of a future-proof environment. How can we achieve excellent design quality when building regulations and building processes are becoming ever-more determined by ethical, technical, and legal specifications and regulations? Public Building projects contribute to the development of inspiring solutions that strengthen the aspect of the public in contemporary building and urban design.

Whether in metropolitan, urban or rural conditions, public functions are always in demand. The interaction between scales and solutions is crucial. Finding the proper condition of the public is part of the research. Public building can be a building, an interior, a part of a hybrid structure or a hybrid structure in within a city, a series of prototypes, a layer in a landscape, and more. Developing contemporary public buildings requires developing new types of buildings and building elements. It requires re-inventing past structures and questioning existing typologies, through research and design as well as research by design. 

Public Building investigates multiplicity as a property of buildings and building elements. Multiplicity in architecture aims to give buildings and building elements properties that make them less singular in function, more productive, more transformative and resilient. 


Salma Ibrahim


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