Marseille Plan d'Aou (FR) – Runner-up


Team Representative: Adrien Zlatic (FR) – architect; Associate: Simon Moisière (FR), Jean Rodet (FR) – architects; Nicolas Persyn (FR) – geographer

93 rue Barrault, 75013 Paris – France 
+33 6 09 35 10 53 – –

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S. Moisière, N. Persyn, A. Zlatic and J. Rodet



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

We all had to deal with adaptability in our studies (Architecture School of Versailles, Geography Ph.D Thesis). Because of some common values on the metropolitan issue, we thought of it as natural to make this shared reflexion concrete in this contest, which offers a dialog with the urban policy stakeholders.


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?

We live in a period of crisis and social changes. Our urban society is having a hard time finding an answer to this crisis, not because it is unable to find and implement solutions, but because it lacks adaptability when facing endlessly renewed problems.
The systemic crisis we are undergoing –environmental, social and economic– could not have been predicted a few years back, and we therefore cannot predict today the timing and nature of the next cycle to take place. It is precisely because the crisis and development timeframes are getting every time closer to one another that the contemporary city has to be constantly able to evolve and adapt its forms and institutions. The contemporary city has to be multifaceted and unstable. Adaptability has to be the main tool in order to achieve this goal. Adaptability requires agility in regulatory framework that creates a specific and innovative land ownership system (through leases and cadastre frame).


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

Land management, plot patterns and built forms were treated separately on this site, as well as in a lot of other “grands ensembles” sites in France, and this can explain part of their failure. Therefore we thought of it as appropriate to deal with the land and property aspects on this site.


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

We already dealt with this problem in different contexts. The architects, in their last 3 years of school, confronted the issue, in particular in their final projects. Nicolas Persyn is currently writing a Ph.D thesis about land management policies in French and Dutch municipalities.
We didn’t have any particular references while designing this project, although we had in mind the works of Andrea Branzi , PREVI (Proyecto Experimental de Vivienda) Lima, or the metabolist sky house by Kiyonori Kikutake (1958) (non-exhaustive list)


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?

We gave rise to a condition that absorbs any type of uses and programs, defining a new urbanity through its architecture and through the management and flexibility of land.


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

It is first time we have been awarded in Europan. It can help us in our professional path, because this project would not have been possible within a traditional competition, and because it was the occasion to bring together people from different horizons and with different methods. Thanks to Europan, its willingness to innovate and the layout of the competition, we were able to suggest this project that deals with contemporary issues, without the inertia of a traditional call for tender.