Team Representative: Natalia Vera Vigaray (ES) – architect; Associates: Patxi Martin Dominguez (ES), Josep Garriga Tarrés (ES), Emmanuel Laux (DE) – architects; Agnès Jacquin (FR) – landscaper; Alexandra Jansen (PL) – economist
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N. Vera Vigaray, P. Martin Dominguez, J. Garriga Tarrès, E. Laux, A. Jacquin, A. Jansen
VIDEO (by the team)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Our team came together as a result of group work at the Brussels European forum in 2018. During the workshop we developed a project on the topic of food production in peri-urban areas. This was one of the reasons we choose the Anttila farm site in Tuusula (Finland), we considered it a great opportunity to continue developing the research on this topic as a team.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
The proposal draws a vision for peri-urban areas: one that entails optimized densification as opposed to sprawl. It also entails a certain degree of service mutualization and a new generation of infrastructures for farmers. In a context where the geographical separation between urban and rural is increasingly blurry, the proposal is about enhancing the site’s identity and asserting its essential role: that of an interface, a place of porosity and exchange. The proposal contains a conceptual backbone to address global challenges, and that can be adapted to various peri-urban locations. It determines how to put in place this idea in the concrete and the particular situation of Anttila, while drawing a model that can inspire other peri-urban areas.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The Anttila site is an interface between rural and urban life, where productive activities are an opportunity to engage people in meaningful ways. 60ºNorth rethinks the peri-urban area and addresses future challenges of food production by outlining possible scenarios respecting the environment. A place where the farmer and the consumer meets, this creates meaning and contributes to increased societal cohesion. It rebalances the exchanges between urban and rural areas. 60°North outlines possible scenarios tackling the identified challenges, taking into account Anttila’s milieus, and making fullest use possible of the site’s assets: its natural resources, location, cultural and historical heritage, locally available skills and materials.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
This is a topic that we constantly have in mind when approaching a project, an interest in looking at how cities develop and how we can link productive activities and develop local economies along with the creation of urban environments. Learning from the existing and minimizing the footprint of our interventions are recurrent strategies that we implement in our daily practice. Our main sources of inspiration were the previous institutions, the built environment and the activities that existed in the site.
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
Mediation and negotiation over time is the main narrative of the project. The suggested scenarios unfold in stages. Their roll-out is a participatory and iterative process made of engagement with local stakeholders and testing phases. The project is governed by sustainability principles. All processes start with an appropriation of the topic through discussions with the locals and residents.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
We have been awarded in all the previous editions since Europan 12. it is a great opportunity to have the chance to develop a project of a certain scale and in another European context.
Office: Office Shophouse
Functions: Architects, landscaper, economist
Average age of the associates: 31 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
This is the first time we worked together as a team. Individually, 3 members of our team have been awarded several times in previous editions of Europan (12,13,14) and in other international architecture competitions. We do not share a physical workplace since we are all based in different European cities, but we share a very well organized digital workplace and routines such as regular workshop meetings.