Der Januskopf

Wien (AT) - Runner-up


Team Representative: Valentina Fantini (IT) – architect; Associates: Mattia Inselvini (IT), Claudia Consonni (IT), Marco Gambare (IT) , Margherita Borroni (IT) – architects; Marcello Carpino (IT) , Anna Jo Banke (DK) – students in architecture
Contributor: Joon Hyuk Ma (KR) – students in architecture

OPS! - of possible scenarios
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OPS! - of possible scenarios

VIDEO (by the team)


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

We met studying or working together. This collaboration naturally evolved to a competition team. OPS! was formed in Rotterdam (NL), but we have now set residences in Milan (IT), København (DK), Basel (CH), Seoul (KR), and Princeton (US).

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?

Our main question was: in such a green yet congested area, is it possible to organize a neighbourhood and a community in which living and working are interwoven in a natural way? The design proposal integrates public areas, logistical/productive spaces and housing with the ambition to link and frame different scales from urban to interior.
Incorporating movement of materials as a key component of the proposal, the project expands the scope of the work and live typology. Movement of materials and people in a complex for makers to live and work in encourage collaborative and creative engagement amongst members of the new community. No longer is makerspace purely a space to use equipment, but a space where people, materials, and ideas congregate to make new things.


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

Since the convergence of highway, roads, bus routes, and trams causes heavy traffic and noise pollution, the North Eastern side of the project is shielded with a translucent and semi open buffer. On the other side, the South-Western front, the project is terraced and faces the green Wildganshof, one of Wien’s successful socialist housing projects. The terrace engages Wildganshof through its connectivity and display of various public activities by makers, residents, and visitors. It not only functions as a platform for the users of the building, but also as an urban alley with visible access to different parts of the terraces through ramps, stairs, and elevators.
As requested in the brief, “Der Januskopf“ is designed to fulfil a 50/50 split between residential and productive uses, where the independence of both and the privacy of residents are of fundamental importance.


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

Some of us took part in the E14 session on the “Adaptable City”; the relation between working and living is a common interest and field of experimentation for all the team members.
Since our background is quite diverse, as we studied and we live in different countries, the references include varied theoretical and practical approaches: from the potential of architectural stepped volumes by Adolf Loos in the Arbeiter Terrassenhaus (AT), to the hybrid program space of Sewoon Sangga in Seoul (KR); from Dogma’s experimental living blocks, to the research about the evolution of the logistic landscape.


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?

At the moment the site hosts various and different owners; the logic of the proposal –the intersection between low productive slabs (6-9 meters) and tall residential towers (max 35 meters)– gives the possibility to base the plot subdivision rhythm on the current property boundaries in order to allow the most flexible future implementation.
The building schedule for the project is strategically and inevitably related to the big developments happening in the neighbourhood, like the Neu Marx, which by 2024 will host a multifunctional event arena.

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

Yes, it is. For some of us it is also the first time we have taken part in the competition. Being rewarded gives us visibility and the opportunity to get a feedback; this encourages us to continue pursuing a path of research, thought, and practice.



Office: OPS! - of possible scenarios
Functions: Architects
Average age of the associates: 28 years old

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

As we work in different offices, we separately took part in competitions and were involved in different projects.