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Paracity is a biourban organism that is growing on the principles of Open Form: individual design-build actions generating spontaneous communicative reactions on the surrounding built human environment and this organic constructivist dialog leading into self-organized community structures, development and knowledge building.


The growing organism the Paracity is based on a three-dimensional wooden primary structure, an organic grid with spatial modules of 6 x 6 x 6 meters constructed out of CLT cross-laminated timber sticks.

This structure suits perfectly to flooding and tsunami risk areas. Also, the CLT primary structure has a high standard of earthquake performance as well as fire resistance. 

Paracity Taipei

The pilot project of the Paracity is imagined to grow on an urban farming island of Danshui River, Taipei City. The island is located between the Zhongxing and Zhonxiao bridges and is around 1000 meters long and 300 meters wide. Paracity Taipei is celebrating the original first-generation Taipei urbanism with a high level of illegal architecture, self-organized communities, urban farms, community gardens, urban nomads and constructive anarchy.

Paracity elements

  • Open form

  • CLT skeleton

  • Environmental technology

  • Bio-energy

  • Parasite urbanism

  • Existence maximum

  • Mediator

  • Free flooding

  • Bioclimatic architecture

  • Bio-urban restoration

  • Organic layers

  • Adaptability

  • Local knowledge

Paracity Book

Author: Marco Casagrande C-Lab | Paracity. Urban Acupuncture
First Edition: Winter 2015
ISBN 9788894139419
Language: English
Pages: 32
Printed Edition: ACQUISTA / BUY! 


Paracity newspaper

This newspaper has been produced for the China Central Academy of Fine Arts - The 2nd CAFAM Biennale 2014

Paracity review

Review by Eric Hunting / International Society of Biourbanism

"Paracity is a new project of Marco Casagrande which promises to be one of the first full-scale demonstrations of a practical peer-to-peer urbanism. Taking advantage of a unique situation on the Danshui River Island in Taipei, Paracity explores a notion of positive urban parasitism, using a novel, freely adaptive, modular, volumetric structural skeleton serving as an urban ‘backplane’ that can subsume otherwise neglected/devalued urban environments, in this particular case an area prone to frequent flooding. Based on a fairly large span cubic structural grid made of cross-laminated timber, this backplane accommodates adaptation and habitation by retrofit, allowing for several possible tiers of social participation in the habitat from the high-level peer-managed deployment of the backplane structure and its key infrastructure elements to the more spontaneous and personalized retrofit deployment of individual dwellings, industry, and commerce. Here we see a totally evolvable urban habitat able to almost spontaneously accommodate any potential change in the situation, environmental conditions, urban and domestic technology, and baseline standard of living without the strife associated with an anachronistic presumption of architectural permanence leading to ready obsolescence. This is ‘city’ as a verb. A freely evolvable urban organism with a declared evolutionary imperative of transitioning older urban habitats toward sustainable integration with the natural environment. A Post-Industrial habitat growing on the compost of Industrial Age urbanism." ...

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