Team Representative: Noémie Corbel (FR) – architect Associates: Estelle Sauvaitre (FR), Adrien Ory (FR) – architects
10 rue du Château, 44000 Nantes (FR)
+33 628 910 184 – firstname.lastname@example.org
N. Corbel, E. Sauvaitre & A. Ory
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Our team was especially formed for the competition although we have known each other since our first year at the ENSA (National School of Architecture) of Nantes. Graduated from the same studio in February 2017, we took as common basis our teaching and research from our final projects. Driven by a common passion for research through the project, the Europan competition presented itself to us as an opportunity to professionally continue our experimentations and learnings.
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?
Under nearby metropolises’ influence and yet influent on its own territory, Evreux, only an hour by train from Paris, represents what defines the average countryside town. Formerly located on the way to Deauville, the town, now bypassed, have become isolated within its own limits, both natural and urban. Evreux is confronted to its city centre’s falling commercial legacy, in favour of a more competitive and more sought after suburban lifestyle. The project focuses on revealing and bringing qualities to the train station area in order to reassert the city centre’s productivity.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The train station is a central and key point to dispatch flows. Spreading it out allows for the emergence of a shared space, a place of possible exchanges between travellers, inhabitants and workers. It is a tool to reconnect a territory from relying on what already “here and there”. From the recognition of “fixed elements”, the spread out train station seeks to create a rhythm. The grand landscape meets the productive street by treating the spread out station at its urban breaking points. Their characterisation and requalification establishes both geographical and human links between private and public spaces, the “fixed elements” and the project. It asserts its own particularities against generic metropolitan train station areas by the preserving the territory’s own proper character.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We previously worked individually on several research projects especially in our last student studio drove by Maëlle Tessier. Those works fed our reflexions for that Europan project in Evreux, learning from the back and forth changes as we went from territory to architectural design. This commitment to the world is rewarded by various references: literary, landscape, architectural, along with our personal itineraries. They are for us a tool to question the territories and their potential. More especially, a project like “Lieu Unique” in Nantes, the place where we studied, inspired us for the programmation of the train station by its way of mixing uses and users. Books like « The Local Project » d’Alberto Magnaghi as well because it encourages cooperations and a multiplicity of development styles.
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?
On one hand, the Fabric Hall established in the train station will accompany the city’s transformation during three different phases. On the other hand, the urban form established around the train station is based on a strong political decision: the segmentation of the real estate properties in fine plots in order to leave way to the establishment of professional or individual (familial) projects, at a lower cost, due to their location along a train station. Finally, the spread out train station becomes the centre of a new productive activity network. It is a tool to link urban breaking points. These several fractures can however be treated separately, hosting different activities distributed on the territory. It will restore stopped ways while generating new physical links in the city, step by step.
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 first time we participate at Europan. Since we have just been graduated, this special mention will give us the opportunity to keep a personal activity while having our first work in architectural studios.