vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading

Growing Shade Addresses Urban Inequities and Climate Change

 

Growing Shade, a project within Cambridge’s ‘Shade is Social Justice’ initiative, aims to address climate change and socioeconomic inequities in densely populated neighborhoods lacking shaded infrastructure. Designed by Alsar-Atelier for Bangladeshi immigrants, this project creates an outdoor community room using oversized tree stakes and lightweight textile canopies to provide shade. The installation, assembled in under a week, adapts to the sun’s path and is seasonal, with the textile removed in fall and winter. As trees mature, they will offer permanent shade, and the temporary structure will be relocated to create a new community space, demonstrating how low-cost, flexible designs can alleviate urban inequities.

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
all images courtesy of Alsar-Atelier

 

 

Alsar-Atelierr’s Flexible Design utilizes Low-Tech Architecture

 

Like many urban environments, Cambridge, Massachusetts faces the impacts of climate change and increasing socioeconomic disparities within public spaces. These issues often affect communities in densely populated neighborhoods lacking shaded areas during summer. Growing Shade exemplifies how ephemeral, low-tech, tactical architecture can offer permanent solutions to urban inequities through landscape growth.

 

The project by architecture and design research studio Alsar-Atelier functions as an outdoor community room with flexible summer use. Built by A1RE, it features a framework that gradually disappears as trees grow. The space consists of columns resembling large tree stakes, arranged in varying densities to optimize shading based on the sun’s path in the northern hemisphere. More columns are placed in the south, with fewer in the north. These columns support a lightweight textile canopy that provides shade while the trees develop. The canopy is easy to assemble and dismantle, removed in fall and winter and reinstalled in spring and summer until the trees can provide shade.

 

Eventually, the trees will offer permanent shade, and the temporary architecture will move to another site, creating a new shaded community space. With a construction time of less than a week, Growing Shade showcases the potential of transient, low-cost, and adaptable architecture in addressing public realm inequities.

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
designed by Alsar-Atelier, the project targets climate change and socioeconomic inequities

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
oversized tree stakes and lightweight textile canopies provide much-needed shade

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
textile canopies are removed in fall and winter, then reinstalled in spring and summer

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
the temporary structure will be relocated to create new community spaces

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
columns resembling tree stakes support a lightweight textile canopy, optimizing shading based on the sun’s path

alsar-atelier-growing-shade-designboom-1800-2

this project demonstrates how low-cost, flexible designs can alleviate urban inequities

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
the installation functions as an outdoor community room with flexible summer use

vanishing community room by alsar atelier uses tree stakes and textile canopies for shading
the framework, built by A1RE, gradually disappears as trees grow

alsar-atelier-growing-shade-designboom-1800-3

as trees mature, they will provide permanent shade

 

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study model
study model
plan
plan
unrolled elevation
unrolled elevation
column diagram
column diagram

project info:

 

name: Growing Shade
architect: Alsar-Atelier | @alsar_atelier

client: City of Cambridge
area: 53 sqm

location: Cambridge, MA

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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