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Regionale 2016 (DE) – Runner-up


Team Representative: Alice Hallynck (FR) – architect; Associates: Edouard Cailliau (FR), Marie-Hélène Merlin (FR), Marion Verdière (FR) – architects

62 rue Crozatier, 75012 Paris – France
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A. Hallynck, M. Verdière, E. Cailliau and M.-H. Merlin



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

We graduated from the School of Architecture and Landscape of Lille and studied at the same studios, which were oriented to contemporary territories issues at; we therefore already had the opportunity to work together. We are now practicing in different environments (architecture, urban planning, landscape and even participatory monitoring site in Peru), so Europan is a chance to gain perspective on our work and to continue with our collective experiments.


2. How do you define the main issue of your project, insisting on how you answered on this session main topic: adaptability and urban rhythms?

How can anyone feel home in an environment made of private homes with clear hierarchical boundaries, even if he does not live there?
Before the question of the design of a project, it is necessary, in those private housing estate, to define a new way of working: these areas are neglected by architects and planners, and their evolution is very complex because of their fragmentation and the impact of personal circumstances of each inhabitant. The inability to reason with "big projects" raises the need to rely on people and their active role in the neighbourhood.
We propose tools that are adaptable to every situation and that which were thought as localized “micro-interventions”, which will little by little spread within the district.


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

The issues of the particular current needs of the inhabitants should be put in parallel with the problem of the loss of population and attractiveness of these neighbourhoods: how to adapt to particular situations while opening the city to new uses ? An adaptable city should not become a neutral city, i.e. it must not be the same everywhere to accommodate people who would be a "Munsterland standard model". The use of a toolbox and not of a masterplan reflects the particularity of each meeting and the adaptability of the project according to the spatial, temporal, human and economic situations.


4. Have you already treated this issue previously and could you present some reference projects that inspired yours?

Representations and actions on the territory are closely related and this is why the projects that caught our attention are both architecture and artistic experimentations. We treated the issue of boundaries alteration and deterritorialization with three scales found in three projects that bring us together: 

  • James Turrell’s "Meeting" (1986) questions the atmosphere of the room, the meeting of several people in a space, and brings us to the question of the "living room" becoming a project module;
  • At the scale of the home, 51N4E’s "Arteconomy" project disturbs the boundaries between inside and outside, raising the issue of the extraction of the privacy outside the built-up limits;
  • Finally, at the urban scale, Nolli's plan –Nuova Pianta di Roma (1748)– specifies the mixed-up private/public and built/unbuilt boundaries to make the city more porous and richer than with a simple masterplan.


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

The coherence of a project built by dozens of little constructions may seem complex in an urban fabric made of a multitude of private owners. This is a new economic and political system that should be balanced so that everyone can participate in the new attractiveness of the neighbourhood. Before trying to draw or specify the project, the architect should here find a new working method with new partnerships.
The Regionale 2016 –within the Stadtumbau IBA– is an opportunity to implement pilot projects to test methods that could then be followed by other cities. This may involve the construction of the first "living room" in public space: a new room created to debate and develop the further steps of the project.
Supported by a first institutional step, each owner could then take ownership of the project and participate in the development of the neighborhood.


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 that we have won Europan. It represents for us a way of making our researches and projects credible. The evolution of housing estates and the questioning of the heritage of the diffuse city concern us and we want to continue with these experiments, whether in the Europan context or in other cities concerned by the subject.