ARCH: discover nature in our buildings – enclosed nature and the city


The pandemic period offered us a chance of seeing a deserted city. Empty streets, empty squares (piazzas), empty parks, empty churches, empty theatres, empty museums, all of these created a non-living city. We know that a city does not operate in this way. The city and, at a micro scale, a building live through spaces and ‘their patterns of events which we experience there’. (Christopher, ALEXANDER, The timeless way of building, New York, Oxford University Press, 1979, page 62 – I strongly recommend reading this book.)
Let’s try to imagine a diverse life in the natural environment even in the heart of the building. We will focus on the dwelling buildings, because these were the spaces in which we were captured.
How do we, the neighbours, create the city through the activities we carry out?
I am certain that all of you know at least one enclosed space, among the walls of the same building or of different buildings, which can be investigated and can identify the patterns of events.



Search, find, investigate and identify the patterns of events in an enclosed garden. Create a link between the built space and the unbuilt enclosed one. Formulate a hypothesis about the influence of nature on this closed space.
Illustrate in any way you consider appropriate, how to show both the garden, along with the façades that border it, and how the garden reaches the streets of the city.
These illustrations will offer us a prospect of a wide range of lives in our cities and with their help we will collect fragments of ideal islands in which we dwell.
As a final aim, we generate a new city formed by our islands. The city will be read through our book, which will result.



It is compulsory to work in groups of two or three students for the first week. In the second week, every group has to interact with other four groups because every part of the building meets other requirements.

1 st day: Introduce yourself presenting an image of the contemporary hortus conclusus from your hometown.
2 nd day: Show us the above-mentioned illustrations.
3 rd day: Final crit. Design our puzzle.


SCHEDULE / 2-Week Workshop. Weekly 4-hour class arranged with the students:

Introduction / 02-06 November, 2020
Development / 09-12 November, 2020
Final Crit / 18 Sept 2020



The student will be able to understand and shape the ground floor of the building in relationship with the city, with its inhabitants and other citizens, with the nature, mainly he or she will know how to keep a balance between the built and the unbuilt space and will tell us which are the advantages and the drawbacks of a city with enclosed gardens.


UOU _ ws4


ION MINCU University of Architecture and Urbanism Bucharest (ROMANIA) /

Andreea Calma (