Sinus Lynge and Camilla van Deurs on Communities
Camilla van Deurs
City Architect of Copenhagen
Founding Partner, Architect, EFFEKT
Sinus Lynge is part of EFFEKT whose creed is to create a positive impact through design. Camilla van Deurs is the city architect of Copenhagen and talks about the city hosting the World Capital of Architecture in 2023 and its challenges.
Lynge introduces a shift of “ego to eco”, which furthers the understanding of community beyond the human community. In their projects the chois of material, here wood, is crucial as it is one of the only material on scale that sequesters and binds CO2. This ties into move from a linear to a circular resource model. But also new ways of financing were components of re-thinking the established traditions of the construction of homes. This came to realization in an urban project, in which different elements, such as public amenities (health and wellness, food and serving, working and learning) were positioned as a frame, “a soft edge”, around the individual housings/amenities – thus opening up the interaction between these housing communities and the city. The idea was to make a building system that can fit in many different locations, thus viable solutions for the global crisis we are facing.
Van Deurs presents four main goals of this event series linked to the fundamental question of “how can architecture shape sustainable futures?” The discussion of architecture is transferred to the everyday life with cultural partners, libraries, schools, etc. as well as private partners. Indeed, beyond the city neighboring municipalities also in neighboring Sweden are involved, therefore thinking bigger issues like climate change, congestions, etc. in a broader frame.
In the discussion with the moderator, Lynge and van Deurs pick up on the responsibility and role of architecture. Further, pre-fab wood as a crucial material, with 1.2 million square meters of housing in planning in Copenhagen demonstrates its significance, although Lynge and van Deurs’ visualization of the façades of these housings differs. Lynge, however, stresses that the façades are flexible and that their project are fundamentally dealing with the organization of communities within cities and their incorporation of nature within them. In fact, Lynge’s “real” question of “how do we build buildings that enable people to live within planetary boundaries” is elaborated on by van Deurs as “the answers must be in cities” for reasons of sustainability mainly. She further describes the city as a space of constant negotiations, therefore adhering or taking up to Lynge’s proposed motto of “ego to eco”. Van Deurs further elaborates on the relation between the city and suburbia with the latter being great for biodiversity corridors, the handling of climate adaptation, etc. – which, according to her must be investigated more thoroughly.