Team Representative: Lucile Ado (FR) – architect urbanist; Associates: Natalia Vera Vigaray (ES), Patxi Martin Domínguez (ES), Josep Garriga Tarrés (ES) – architects; Marine Declève (BE) – urban and architecture theorist
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N. Vera Vigaray, P. Martin Domínguez, L. Ado, J. Garriga Tarrés & M. Declève
VIDEO (by the team)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Our team came together during the working experience we had in the Brussels Europan Inter-Session Forum in 2018.
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?
Our proposal relates the issue of maintaining productive activities in the city to the possibility of associating it with a pedagogical project that values experience and learning. La Cabucelle becomes the place for the educational program that sets three specific learning sectors : sustainable building technologies, waste management and landscaping. Experimentation in relation to building and public spaces managing is developed towards an exemplary zero-waste district in the Mediterranean region. It attracts apprentices who want to be trained in these different types of expertise. The program is indeed designed as an apprenticeship, which can also be a program for professional integration. At the scale of the metropolis, La Cabucelle becomes an educational pole for the three sectors, so that everything produced in the district has an impact on its urban fabric and inhabitants.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Our project responds to the social challenges of a neighbourhood formed by a mix of communities in which the traces of time, people, immigration, climate and activities are revealed in the difficulty of maintaining its public spaces, the degradation of its urban fabric and the difficulty to access the large natural spaces around. The challenge of the project was for us to formulate a process that could be continuously reproduced. We identified the actors present on the territory in order to involve them in our learning program. The first cycle of the program involves an experimental process of renovation on specific sites scattered throughout the Cabucelle district.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Natalia, Marine and Lucile (together with four other PhD candidates and young practitioners) have been developing this topic for an applied research during the "Designing Brussels Ecosystems" masterclass organized by Metrolab Brussels in January 2019. The publication of their project for the Masui district will be release in February 2020.
Natalia has developed this topic in the Asian context during her teaching experience in Vietnam.
Marine’s current PhD research focuses specifically on this topic within Brussels context, while Lucile’s urban project undergoing in Toulouse (BE) also focuses on this topic.
And the project also refers to the learning program Compagnons du tour de France.
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?
The proposal is a vision of public spaces associated with a progressive and participatory renovation process, of which La Cabucelle becomes an experimental canvas. The apprenticeship program establishes a continuous presence in the neighbourhood that influences the intensity of social interaction and provides new conditions to break down walls and open up schools or businesses to the public space. The project establishes new relationships between indoor and outdoor public or private spaces and the different stakeholders to create a new urban condition within the urban renovation (NPNRU) process.
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 rewarded in every previous edition 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: As a collaborative platform
Functions: Architects, Urbanists, Research in Urbanism
Average age of the associates: 33 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
OfficeShopHouse has won several awards in previous editions: Europan 12, runner-up in Asker (NO), Europan 13, special mention in Geneva (CH); Europan 14, runner-up in Graz (AT) and Europan 15, runner-up in Tuusula (FI), the last project for which the team has already presented their work to the city representatives and is currently negotiating a contract for the implementation process. They are also currently working on several architectural projects in Europe, including elemental architectures, design and tactical urbanism.
Lucile Ado was the winner of Europan 14 in Toulouse (FR) alongside with Alessandro Benacchio, Perrine Frick and Rocco Marafatto, and was then the representative of a consortium bringing together the three rewarded teams in a 3-years contract with the metropolis, in order to implement a 150 ha masterplan. The first phase of this work was completed in December 2019. The second phase should start at the beginning of 2020.
Marine Declève is currently working on a thesis in urbanism at the EPLF Lausanne in Switzerland and is part of the research group Metrolab in Brussels (BE). Her work focuses on the question of the productive city in Brussels from a historical and a prospective perspective.