Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and architect Dominique Perrault have jointly announced a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) exploring the subterranean architecture of cities. The course, entitled “Groundscape Architecture Design Lab, rethinking cities underground” is available on open course hub edx and is free to registered users. Classes will begin on the 15 October.
There has been much discussion in recent years about the “fifth facade” of buildings - that is, the roofscape, made visible by satellite or drone based overviews such as Google Maps. But comparatively little attention has been paid to the space that lies between the street and the foundation - a space this course seeks to illuminate.
The course will focus on the underground architecture of cities, educating participants on the history of the topic and the fundamental skills necessary for the design and realization of subterranean projects. The curriculum is divided in five "episodes", each offering insight into different areas within the topic.
This is rich ground for Perrault, an architect whose portfolio boasts a longstanding interest in negotiating the streetscape including projects such as EWHA Women’s University in Seoul and the National Library of France. As urban areas continue to develop and land becomes increasingly unattainable, creative solutions are imperative for the success of cities.
The course will be taught additionally by Richard Nguyen, Ignacio Ferrer Rizzo, and Juan Fernandez Andrino, all partners in SubLab, an academic think tank founded by Perrault in 2013 at EPFL.