Gjakova (KO) – Runner Up


Team Representative: Carles Enrich (ES) – architect
Contributors: Adriana Campmany (ES), Anna De Castro (ES) – architects; Caroline Foulon (ES) – interior architect; Laura Belenguer (ES), Rafel Capó (ES), Minerva Ramirez (ES) – students in architecture

c/ Fraternitat 38, PB, 08012 Barcelona – España
+34 649 769 786 – –

See the complete listing of portraits here 
See the site page here 

L. Belenguer, R. Capó, C. Foulon, C. Enrich, A. Campmany, A. de Castro


Click on the images to enlarge

1. How did you form the team for the competition?

Our team was formed combining usual collaborators of our office with students in architecture interested in urban design. We were doing three competitions at the same time, so it was a great experience for all. Finally we have won two awards in this edition, as Runner-up in Gjakova and Special Mention in Barcelona.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: Adaptability through Self-Organization, Sharing and/or Project (Process)?

We take Europan as an opportunity to develop some of the ideas we are working on in other projects at this time. Basically we are developing four concepts that require a long process of implementation but guarantee a social cohesion:

- recover the pre-existence (history, nature or architecture) as an identity value;
- provide guidelines for an ecological habitat in urban areas;
- ensure urban continuity and sew different tissues;
- supply the lack of a permanent use with temporal activity.

In that sense, the project in Gjakova aimed to regenerate the urban tissue, recovering the identity of the town and focusing the intervention on the bridges crossing the Krena River, where old groups of caravans stopped and created temporary markets. By increasing activity on these points we improve the urban network allowing an approach to the riverbanks. We believe that this could link the old and the new town. These places will become strong urban references adaptable to different programs and will be self-organized by the local people.


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

For us a good diagnosis of the site is 95% of the project. I think the biggest job we, architects, currently have is to revitalize areas and propose dynamic urban exchange.
In Gjakova, we accomplished a research to improve our knowledge of the problematic of the city concerning to the question of the competition. Actually, we think that our ideas are perfectly compatible with a local point of view. We learned a lot from the origins of Gjakova and maybe that was the reason we focus our project on the recovering of the local identity as a social value.


4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

As I said before, we take Europan as an opportunity to explore how small interventions in different scales are capable to transform the whole city in time. In that sense, we are developing a strategic plan for the recovering of Rec Comtal in Barcelona that is based on the concepts mentioned before. This project attends to the small scale of the districts at the same time as it proposes a metropolitan tour able to sew different parts of the city. The project Caravanserais for Gjakova has the same intention.
Our references come from the observations of common actions in the urban sphere, such as the temporary markets and their capacity to transform an existing place.


5. Today –at the era of economic crisis and sustainability– the urban-architectural project should reconsider its production method in time; how did you integrate this issue in your project?

I completely agree with that. Urban interventions should be applied in time and must therefore include an element of adaptability to new challenges (political, economic, social) now unpredictable. The success of any intervention with the aim of improving urban and social tissues should incorporate participation and opinion of the future users in the process of development.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

This is the second time that I have participated in Europan. In the last edition we won a first prize in Barcelona. For me Europan is the best competition for young architects because it generates a very interesting debate about the urban dynamics in cities today. The implementation process was also a great opportunity to start working with the local administration and was a big step forward in my career.