KTC 234— Knowledge Trade Center


KTC 234— Knowledge Trade Center. © David Schalliol.


Building upon the urban exploration of vacancy proposed in The Available City project by David Brown, nine Chicago-based teams present their own responses to the issue at stake. Employing drawings and models, each project investigates the architectural possibilities of vacancy, with a specific focus on the role of collective spaces and the relationships they can foster. Diverse in their location, scale, program, and aesthetic sensibility, these projects ultimately demonstrate that we can leverage vacancy to generate new architectural scenarios that have the potential to address current social and economic issues.


Project by JAHN


A Place without Currency, Multinational, Objectless, Systematic, Self-Sufficient, Lightweight, Prefabricated, and Fully Energy Integrated.

The collective space is limitless, inside and outside each of the 10′ x 12′ x 36′ prefab self-sufficient cells. As they interlock, they create a place like no other, in which knowledge is the main form of currency and its exchange the primary function of this community.

Energy, water, and waste technologies are embedded in 50% of the high tech (mother cells) that support the low tech (surrogate cells).

13 layers, 18 cells per layer, form a total of 234 units, that once grouped create a nonhierarchical system of interconnected spaces. As the clusters stack, they generate vertical linkages and new spaces emerge, reinforcing the idea of a community in which the values of real estate assigned to height and orientation are proven obsolete and neutralized by Function.

Knowledge will conquer all frontiers; it is the only form of FREEDOM and true disengagement from a society in which image reigns.

KTC 234 — The Fall of Designed Cities and Rise of Organic Communities.



Axonometric. © JAHN.



Axonometric (Detail). © JAHN.



Floor plans. © JAHN.



Plan. © JAHN.



Plan (Detail). © JAHN.



Section. © JAHN.



Section (Detail). © JAHN.



Model. © JAHN.



Model (Detail). © JAHN.



Model and boards. © David Schalliol.



Concept and Development
Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido.

Constructability Concepts WS
Werner Sobek.

Joe Madon and Maria Miller.


JAHN is an international firm that, with over 75 years of experience, has achieved critical recognition and won numerous awards. JAHN’s ability to integrate design creativity and corporate professionalism makes it a leader in Global Design Innovation. Under the current leadership of Helmut Jahn and Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido, the firm has grown and evolved steadily from the practice founded in 1937 by Charles Murphy coming from the tradition started with Daniel Burnham. Our work addresses urban responsibility, performance, engineering synthesis, attention to detail and sustainability by design. We strive for the use of innovative technologies to improve human experience and raise ecological awareness.

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