Team Representative: Alexis Lecaplain (FR) – architect; Associates: Ondine Boutaud (FR), Anne-Gaëlle Elin (FR), Gaspard Vivien (FR) – architects
G. Vivien, A.G. Elin, O. Boutaud & A. Lecaplain
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Our team was formed after a year of abroad at the architecture school of Quebec City (CA). Since this encounter we collaborate on several projects and competitions especially around lifestyles and their transformations. We have participated at the 14th session of Europan in order to experiment, concretize our ideas, and test them at larger scales compared to the projects we usually work on.
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 Sedimontières project, aims at creating an link, an urban sewing to create more porosity between the city, its suburb and the district Montières. In this aim Sédimontières offers Montières area a city planning strategy dealing with the surroundings development. The emergence of news activities coexists with pre-existing ones. This strategy undertakes the transition of a declining industrial production towards leisure activities and local alternative production. This process generates real social interactions and encourages the exchange of know-how; a new local economy is growing thanks to the area potential of Amiens City.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
As geological mechanism processes, 4 steps of varying intensity deal with the territory at one time. The first step launches the blocks’ re-appropriation through various micro-actions. A “Time Office” travels between both blocks and promotes a new dynamic of reflection and collective actions. The second step focuses on initiation and local commitment. It redefines the site through new practices and develops the idea of a short-range city. The third step consolidates the previous actions and develops new activities. At Step 4, the Montières area is reinstated to the city. Local stakeholders become independent and a new local governance is implemented.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Indeed, we have had the opportunity to deal with this issue of temporality in architecture during our previous works, by adapting the evolutions of way of life through the scale of the furniture closely related to the architectural scale. Such reflection feeds our daily life, our readings, our way of doing architecture, our living experiences. We are paying close attention to: urban pacing, ephemeral structures, political writings, etc. We can cite “Les fiches usages” on La citadelle universitaire d’Amiens, or an article on temporary and temporal city planning by Luc Gwiadzinski.
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?
It is the core of our project! Sedimontières is divided into 4 phases that lead to a change of view on the places invested and support initiatives of inhabitants, citizens to develop new uses of places. Two strategies of tools are set up physically on the sites: clouds of micro-actions, ultra-localized actions which lay the first stone and the time office that travels through the district promoting a new dynamic of reflection and collective actions.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Our special mention encourages us to develop our reflections on the city and architecture over time and not only by space. We believe that the world of architecture is undergoing a great transformation so we do not know yet how to plan our professional future but we are still animated by questioning our world of today and tomorrow and more specifically architecture.