Common Node

Lasarte-Oria (ES) - Winner


Team Representative: Alex Etxeberria Aiertza (ES) – architect
Contributors: Amelia Perea Almenar (ES), Eduardo Landia Ormaechea (ES) – architects

Calle Ipar 3, 2º, 20800 – Zarautz (ES)
+34 609946699 - –

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E. Landia Ormaechea, A. Perea Almenar & A. Etxeberria Aiertza

VIDEO (by the team)


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

We have been collaborating on various projects and competitions since 2015, most of the time via Skype, as we live in different cities. This time, although I (Alex) have developed the project on my own, both Eduardo and Amelia have contributed to the final phase of the submission

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?

Since it is a peri-urban location on the limit between a residential area, an industrial area, and a rural environment, I understand that the hybridization of productive and residential spaces is essential to avoid isolated neighbourhoods. The idea is to create an urbanity that catalyses both the flows of the city and the rural and natural environment, and therefore, activate the exchange between the inhabitants, the production and the animal and plant biodiversity, which is enabled by the geographical condition of the site, situated in the middle of two large green infrastructures, the Oria river and the Plazaola rural park.


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

Lasarte-Oria is a dense municipality, with a strong industrial past and present, and at the same time, it is immersed in a valley with a remarkable landscape and natural value. Therefore, all the ingredients to create a productive city model (agricultural, industrial, technological…) are in the environment. The problem is that until now all these elements have coexisted without relating to each other. The solution was to hybridize all these uses on the site and to connect the existing monofunctional areas.


4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

The issues of the competition have been part of the research in previous projects and competitions, although it is true that until now I had not dealt with all of them together on the same project. The closest example of a productive residential unit can be found in the immediate surroundings. In the Basque farmhouses, where they used to produce, trade and live on the same time. The interaction with the neighbours took place in the public space in front of the main door of the house, the "ataria". The project tries to take these qualities to an intervention of a larger scale, giving importance to the elevated "streets" created by walkways and incorporating productive spaces in them, key to activate the public and common space. The corridors of the Smithson’s project for the Golden Lane housing competition or the Second Home Hollywood, designed by Selgascano, which from the productive units creates the community, have been some of the reference projects.


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 terms and conditions of the competition in this particular location called for a higher level of specificity than usual in Europan competitions, because the idea of the Basque Government is to build it in a relatively short period of time. However, being aware of the complexity of an intervention with such characteristics, the proposal is based on generic ideas and the solution becomes a flexible system that allows to incorporate required changes. The project proposes the adaptability of the solution beyond its mere construction and gives rise to future changes and to the unexpected.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

Yes, this is the first time that I have participated in an edition of Europan. It has always been a reference competition for young architects and I am excited to have won it and about the opportunity that the commission of a project like this could mean. It is definitely an incentive to continue researching and deepening the proposed ideas.



Office: /
Functions: Architecture
Average age of the associates: 32 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?

Won competitions:

  • Built: Refurbishment of the headquarters of the Territorial Association of Architects from Valencia (ES)
  • In progress: Urban elevator in Sestao (ES)