Synergy Reef

•May 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

This project proposes a green-field development in synergy with nature and a location where construction in long term will have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. It is situated in the sea instead of on land. However, this is not due to an apocalyptical view of rising waters, but for the purpose of restoring synergy and preventing destructive onshore development.

The synergy of corals and mangroves is important for the biodiversity of sea life, but also in the process of the sea functioning as a carbon dioxide dump. Thus in order to maintain this process it is needed to preserve both coral areas as well as the coastline.
Intense bottom trawling and other kinds of fishing have resulted in destruction of corals and the seabed. Biodiversity on reefs and of corals depend on nutrients from sea grass meadows and mangrove forest at the seashore.

Coral reefs have some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. However, nearly 80% of coral reefs in Southeast Asia are considered endangered.

This project is designed as a living reef creating habitats for sea life while preserving natural land onshore. Living, in the sense of creating both domicile for humans as well as other species.
Thus the ‘Synergy Reef’ is built upon the idea of restoring synergy between reefs and coastline. In order to achieve this it is built on approximately 20-30 meters depth some 500 meters off shore.
In order to restore the damaged seabed an artificial reef, the ’Atoll’, is constructed. To preserve mangroves on shore traditional elements of the city are merged within the ‘Synergy Reef’, which grows up within and around the ‘Atoll’.


Kolding Experience Nature

•January 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Vulnerable ecosystems are seriously threatened by urbanization all over the planet. The increasing population and industrialization across the globe only makes the problem growing. Therefore the call for more sustainable urbanization is urgent. Hence the main focus of this project has been on the development of a sustainable transformation strategy for urban colonization of the landscape. Too often urbanization means vast occupation of open landscape with little or no respect to the ecosystems that already exist there. The main conceptual approach has therefore been to urbanize the landscape with respect to nature. The project studies how landscape can be preserved through a denser and compact urban structure than the suburban sprawl that characterises residential districts in Kolding. The transformation strategy furthermore deals with the relationship between city and nature and how to integrate nature in the city at different levels. Various typologies have been developed with the focus to create sustainable ways of living in nature while still living in a city. The typologies also define various degrees of urbanization in relation to nature and the intensity in the different zones. Decisive for all solutions have been the respect to nature, where e.g. problems such as seasonal flooding have been tackled without obstructing nature.

Another important approach to the project has been the preservation of the identity of the area. The existing uses and characteristics have therefore been decisive for the layout of the future area. The users are now stimulated through sports activities and the open landscape. It has been important to preserve and enhance this type of environment where inhabitants and visitors can evolve and progress throughout use of their city.

As the area is the link between the city centre and the large open landscape of Kolding Ådal connectivity and accessibility to the area has a high priority and has formed an important part of the transformation strategy.

View full project here.

Two short entries (txt and illu)

•January 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The rise of the hairdresser

In a time where our world is falling apart, our economy, our climate, a displaced humanity, we are told that we need change. And hope.

Hollywood promises us a bittersweet hero saving us from meteors and aliens; poetry tells us that we’ve killed our hero by eating burgers.

Architects have given up. Manifestos are buried with our hero. In our society of nihilism the garbage man seems too heroic, an icon of unreachable purity, too much effort.

We turn to the only honest profession, independent of cheep, globalized labor, and get our hair done.

Happy New Year 2010

•January 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The holiday season has not been all holidays, but also a busy period. Among the current projects, of which we will be posting in the next couple of weeks, NoMadSpaceLab is looking East towards Shanghai and preparing for an interesting time of Expo 2010.


•December 4, 2009 • 1 Comment

Climate change is hot, or at least it is getting warmer. Or so they say. COP15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference is just about to start (Dec 7th to Dec 18th).

Not only are politicians attending meetings, but also scientists, NGOs, environmentalist etc. congregate to Copenhagen these days.

But what are the expectations and concerns of people around the world on the subject of climate change? People who are carrying on with their normal duties and are not on their way to Copenhagen.

NoMadSpaceLab and The Department of Unusual Certainties intends to find out, and have asked researchers around the world to ask five questions on the topic.

Visit project blog and webpage for information about the project and read about climate impressions from around the world.

[Nordhavnen] Sustainability as environmental and social engine in urban design

•November 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment


One important step on the way to achieve sustainability is to identify environmental problems that need to be solved. In this project the ecological consequences of the way we live today were analysed with the aim of defining environmental problems. By taking a closer look at the origin of the problems related to the environment, it becomes easier to define what actions that can be done through urban planning to solve these problems.

The proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has gradually been built up during the last century. The majority of the emissions come from cities. The CO2 emissions from cities have two major sources; buildings and transportation. It takes energy to run buildings, e.g. heat up or cool them down as well as run electrical systems not only in buildings but also throughout the whole city. Most of this energy comes from fossil fuel burning; hence cities have the very high CO2 emissions.

Another major danger to the environment is the threat human activity is causing to the biosphere. Cities are a major threat to the biosphere in two ways; directly by the way land is occupied and used for habitation, which have huge impacts and consequences for animals and ecosystems. Indirectly by the huge consumption of natural resources that is required to run the big cities.


The primary goal of this project was to examine how sustainability can be achieved through a certain urban form or urban design principles. By focusing on how the various levels of the city planning such as land use patterns, building and landscape types, infrastructure systems and density can contribute to sustainability, this theoretical analysis will constitute the foundation for the further development of a concept for the future sustainable city.

The main inspiration to the concept comes from Stephen Wheeler’s notion on the five urban form values. The five values regard; compact urban form, contiguous urban form, connected urban form, diverse urban form, and ecological urban form. The compact urban form refers to a dense city structure that concentrates urban development within a certain growth limit line. A contiguous urban form means that new urban development has to occur adjacent to existing urbanized areas. The compact urban form enhances the amenity for pedestrians and cyclists and shortens distances with the mixed land use pattern, which makes cycling and walking another attractive alternative to the use of motor-driven means of transport. A good and well-connected public transport system is furthermore of great importance to reduce the use of private cars and in the end emissions. The diverse urban form features a mixed land use, different typologies and various prices and rents. This results in a heterogeneous urban landscape with a wide variety of inhabitants and users with different income groups. The ecological urban form integrates the natural landscape into the cityscape in a way that preserves the existing ecosystems and at the same time provides recreational settings for city residents.


The concept and implementation has been presented according to the five urban form values that together constitute a sustainable city structure. Each urban form has carefully been implemented so that each layer is well-functioning. Furthermore the layers are intertwined and their individual shapes are depended on each other. Transport has e.g. been planned after the urban centres. The layout of the masterplan has been guided by the concept and at the same time findings from the site analysis. Especially the knowledge and understanding of the site is important to create a design that is embedded in place and emphasizes the spirit of the place. As a result the new uses in the future Nordhavn derive from the area’s potentials and its history.

100% Design – Tokyo Designers Week 2009

•November 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Today was the last day of Tokyo Designers Week 09. MONU Magazine on clean urbanism was featured in the Magazine Library section of the event.

The opening article of Monu Magazine on clean urbanism (issue 11) is by Samo Pedersen of NoMadSpaceLab. Please support Monu by buying the mag, and NoMadSpaceLab by reading the essay;o)

Links to: Monu Magazine, Magazine Library, and 100% Design Tokyo 09