Team Representative: Benni Eder (AT) – architect; Associate: Theresa Krenn (AT) – architect
studio uek, Pernerstorfergasse 5/B4, 1100 Wien – Österreich
+43 1 6003843 – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.studio-uek.com
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We are partners at studio uek.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: Adaptability through Self-Organization, Sharing and/or Project (Process)?
The essential base for the proposed project is to understand the Linz Oed neighbourhood as a network of manifold collectives of different scales. These collectives overlap and interfere both in regard to their territories and their characteristics. The project aims to identify, strengthen and connect these collectives by the means of participative processes and projective spatial interventions of differing scales. These interventions –from the size of a parking lot to the size of a square– carry in themselves the scenario of sharing and belonging, as well as the scenario of change.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Oed, a large socially mixed neighbourhood in the South-West of Linz, presents a well-preserved picture of the development of subsidized housing of the last 50 years. Reading Oed’s spatial macro-structure, the area appears as an assemblage of islands: large residential areas of the 1970s, 1980s and 2010s, the enclosed school campus and the open area of social infrastructures. Our project approaches the adaptation of these islands with two complementary strategies: the projective and the participative strategy. While interventions in the inner field of the islands are carried out in a participative way, the borders –occasionally stretching out far into the islands– become the terrain for projective interventions.
In order to install these interventions, the project follows a certain storyline: identifying and exposing existing and resilient structural elements both built and landscaped, making use of their spatial qualities, re-interpreting and enriching these elements programmatically…
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
The question of the collective and how it is tied to spatial conditions is essential in our work and can be found in all our projects. Among the projects that inspired us are:
- Moriyama House, Tokio (JP), by Sanaa (2005): “Mr. Moriyama lives together, in the true sense of the term, with his dog and his lodgers, sharing the in-between space. Rather than a closed-off unit, a cluster of diverse inter-related forms is generated, as well as a permeability to the street and the surrounding neighbourhood.” (source: Eastern Promises. Zeitgenössische Architektur und Raumproduktion in Ostasien)
- Casetas de pescadores en el Puerto, Cangas do Morrazo (ES), by Irisarri + Piñera (2008): “A row of fishermen's huts gives dynamic to the breakwater of the port with an activity that is deep-rooted in the place and attractive to the eyes of passers-by.” (source: http://www.publicspace.org/en/works/f299-casetas-de-pescadores-en-el-puerto)
- Parc de la Villette, Paris (FR), by OMA (1982): “Finally, we insist that a no time have we presumed to have produced a designed landscape. We have confined ourselves to devising a framework capable of absorbing an endless series of further meanings, extensions, or intensions, without entailing compromises, redundancies or contradictions.” (source: S,M,L,XL)
5. Today –at the era of economic crisis and sustainability– the urban-architectural project should reconsider its production method in time; how did you integrate this issue in your project?
In fact, our approach to any project is to reflect upon the –previous and possible future– changes of the site, the program and the structure and to consciously value what is already there. We believe that adaptability has always been an essential quality of the built; only today our projects aim actively at possible futures – or, as the title of our project proposes, at: “All Tomorrow’s Parties”.
Both the proposed participative and the projective elements consider the element of change – For example, the two new housing structures address under-represented user groups in the Oed neighbourhood: residents in a certain phase of life that require specific and innovative architecture (medium-term dwelling for young adults or large cluster apartments that encourage living together in different constellations: as a collective of elderly people, a students’ flat share, units for assisted living, a group of friends with children etc.). At the same time these structures allow various interpretations and combinations, thus offering a wide range of possible apartment sizes and types that might even change with time.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
No, in 2007/2008 we won the Europan 9 round in Vienna with our project “Swobodas go Neustadlau”. After winning this competition, a very intensive implementation process started out, which went on for several years. We were involved in every stage of the process: from urban planning, through the design of several buildings and detailed planning to the process of occupancy and appropriation by the residents. This project was also the kick-start for our office, studio uek. Since then we have been involved in several projects mainly of urban planning and housing and we are very happy to bring back some of the experience and knowledge gathered into another Europan project!