OAB at the Edge

OAB at the Edge

OAB at the Edge

1 Formal CPD Point

Available on demand


In biological terms, the edge between two ecosystems is called an ecotone. In urban habitats, architects and urban planners must understand the importance of this edge as an ecosystem itself. The boundary between landscapes, urban and rural, the edge between different urban fabrics - all those areas have their own specificity and must blend or interact with its immediate environments in a special way.

This boundary is not only physical but intellectual, and for instance, can be between two cultural inheritances. This seminar will explore these concepts through several examples of recent works by OAB that confront the circumstances of working at the edge - not only a physical edge but most importantly an intellectual one.


This presentation is equivalent to 1 hour/point of formal CPD and will deliver outcomes related to the following Competency/s from the National Standard of Competency for Architects:

2015 Competencies:

Design: Pre-Design
2.2 Application of principles controlling planning, development and design for the project site.

Design: Conceptual Design

3.2 Application of creative imagination, aesthetic judgement and critical evaluation in formulating design options.
3.3 Design response incorporates assessment of the physical location and relevant wider regional, contextual and environmental issues.
3.6 Assessment of the economic impact on the project of design strategies and options.

Design: Schematic Design
4.2 Evaluation of design options against values of physical, environmental and cultural contexts.

2021 Competencies:

Project Initiation and Conceptual Design:

PC 18 Be able to apply creative imagination, design precedents, research, emergent knowledge and critical evaluation in formulating and refining concept design options, including the exploration of three dimensional form and spatial quality. 
PC 29 Be able to develop and evaluate design options in terms of the heritage, cultural and community values embodied in the site, and in relation to project requirements. 
PC 32 Be able to apply planning principles and statutory planning requirements to the site and conceptual design of the project. 

Detailed Design and Construction Documentation:

PC 36 Be able to apply creative imagination, design precedents, emergent knowledge, critical evaluation and continued engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to produce a coherent project design. This should be resolved in terms of supporting health and wellbeing outcomes for Country, site planning, formal composition, spatial planning and circulation as appropriate to the project brief and all other factors affecting the project. 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session participants should be able to:

  • Explain the analogy Borja Ferrater makes between an ecotone and the edge of urban habitats
  • Explain why the edges of different urban fabrics should be considered as ecosystems
  • Describe the processes or activities for which these edges must allow
  • Discuss the proposition that urban edges are not only physical boundaries but also intellectual, and the way OAB has confronted the circumstances of working at the edge



    Partner, Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB) Spain

    Borja Ferrater is a licensed architect, graduating from the International University of Catalonia (UIC) in 2005. In 2010 he received his Masters degree in Biodigital Architecture and obtained his doctorate in April 2017. Between April 2008 and September 2011 Borja was Vice-Dean of Culture Publications and International Relations at the School of Architecture of UIC, along with being the director of the school’s workshops and lectures annual program.

    He is author of the book Synchronizing Geometry published by ACTAR, which has been exhibited in several cities in Europe and America.

    Borja is a Founding Partner Architect of the Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB) together with Xavier Marti, Carlos and Lucia Ferrater in January 2006.






    Non Member


    SONA Member



What Do I Do Next?

  1. Hit the “Take me to my course” green button in your confirmation email to take you to the course material on our online CPD platform.
  2. You may have to log into the online CPD platform. You will be redirected to our members portal to log in with your credentials there, and redirected back to the online CPD platform once successfully logged in.
  3. Accept the T&Cs if it’s your first time on the online platform. And hit “my dashboard” to find your purchased course.
  4. Undertake your course work at your own pace.
  5. Once you have completed all the course material, you will be prompted to complete your assessment and feedback, after which your formal CPD certificate will be made available.