A Non-binary Ecology

Namur (BE) - Winner


Associates: Celeste Tellarini (IT), Riccardo Salomoni (IT) – architects and urbanists

a multitude
Brussels + Milan
T. +39 3493786448

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VIDEO (by the team)

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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Our collaboration loosely started years ago during Master Degree, and it has always been marked by long distance. We have been discussing and sharing thoughts over the years and saw in Europan 16 the perfect opportunity to give these themes a structure and outcome.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic, Living cities?
‘A non binary ecology’ is first of all suggesting a different way to look at the contemporary urban issue. We wanted to consider a wider range of ingredients than a classical urban study and give them a new meaning. In fact all the micro spaces that we refer to - if well highlighted and connected - can easily become a substrate to sustain and support future uses and developments, and most of all, structure a more conscious appropriation of the natural realm. This ‘third landscape’ – meaning an enhancement of spontaneous colonization leading to the creation of microhabitats for different species – gains a political and communitarian dimension: a territory for diversity. Through this renewed lens, many possibilities of inhabiting cities arise, far from limits, labels and oppositions, towards a more inclusive and respectful way.

3. How did the issues on metabolic and inclusive vitalities and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The Namur Sart Hulet context – being the crossroad of the peri urban context and valuable natural systems – becomes the perfect laboratory for the reflection on an uncommon urbanity. We want to focus on the gradualities that stand between extremes, enhancing the undefined at all design scales, to reveal and appreciate their hidden potential. We considered the latent site as a complex atlas of situations on which a set of strategies regarding existing buildings and infrastructures, new interventions and landscape can be explored.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have always been sharing a strong interest towards the peri-urban and sprawled settlements and the landscape that derives from this way of living, as it characterizes both our personal and professional backgrounds. To approach the theme of Living Cities we took the Manifeste du Tiers Paysage by Gilles Clément as a light guide to start our research path towards the enhancement of biodiversity in all its aspects, meanings and potentials. In addition, we studied several case studies that we considered relatable for ecological and landscape purposes, such as Geneve Rive Aire Renaturation by Atelier Descombes Rampini, or for efficient dwelling strategies such as Lacaton & Vassal Mulhouse social housing.
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?
To enable a flexible and adaptable result, our work aimed at the individuation of rules and examples more than a rigid and final solution. In fact, we structured our proposal through general yet very precise guidelines that we deepened through the design case studies. We hope that in this way we could establish a palimpsest for further steps that could lead to a successful implementation. For sure, we would like to better understand all the accessibility systems, solving more practical and immediate issues and giving a real space for new forms of coexistence. In addition, we would like to establish a relationship of mutual exchange with all the actors involved, considering the owner’s needs but also integrate the proposal with suggestions that could be raised from the local community.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Europan 16 has been the first competition we joined together both within this platform and in general. We consider the recognition of our awarded proposal for Namur as a strong propulsive force to sustain this undefined and promising collaboration between us.

 a multitude
Function: architecture, urbanism
Average age of the associates: 26,5 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? if yes, which ones?
Europan 16 has been the first competition we joined together but represents the structured and condensed form of many thoughts and discussions we had over the years.

Does your team share a common workplace? if yes, give us a short description:
Being a long distance collaboration split between Milan and Brussels, audio/video calls are our main meeting tools and any virtually shared computer screen is our common workplace. This means that the creative process is influenced by two completely different sets of inputs given by the two hectic cities we live and work in and their cultural and social realities. The process of discussion, being supported by virtual tools, is possible in any place and time, bringing to the possibility of an extremely flexible and fluid collaboration.