Istres (FR) - Runner-up


Associates: Tian Li (CH) – architect, Yinan Du (CN), Shan Jiang (CN) – landscape architects
+33 6 95 15 43 21

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VIDEO (by the team)

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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We worked in the same architectural firm and we happen to come from the same city in China. We eat often together and we said "hey why not participate a competition together it would be fun".

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic, Living cities?
We define the main issue as how to re-energize a dwindling site while helping to purify the Etang. We divide into two steps. The first step is to scientifically analyse how to effectively improve the water quality of the Etang in a small area and analysing how it can be incorporated into our existing buildings. The second step is how to use this as a starting point to activate the entire site, and even the entire city. 

3. How did the issues on metabolic and inclusive vitalities and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Our design uses the site as a beneficial mutant that reactivates the entire base. At the same time, due to the ecological and cultural benefits generated by its functions, it can be reactivated on a larger urban scale to drive tourism.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
One of our landscaper in the team has participated in similar environmental renovation projects. Therefore, we have a certain foundation for purification methods and environmental understanding.
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?
Our strategy is to adapt to this pattern by performing different time periods of modification at different scales. First of all, we propose to remodel the secondary school building that is about to be relocated to achieve our expected role of purifying the étang and using it for exhibition. After that, we plan to add a digital lighthouse in the future, so that people in the city can intuitively feel the purification process from a distance, even in the cloud. After that, we propose to carry out the transformation of public space on a larger scale of the site, which will also lead to the reuse of the roofs of other buildings on the site. We will actively negotiate and advance with other owners. The renovation of the entire site will triple the public space and accommodate a wider variety of cultural and commercial activities. Bring vitality to the base. Finally, we will negotiate with the relevant departments of the city and propose to take the base as a starting point, integrate the landscape and traffic flow at the urban scale, and build Istres into an ecological center in the Grand Marseille area.

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 the first time that we are awarded a prize of Europan. If we could realize the project we would like to form a little agency and if not, we will continue working on the competitions.

Function: architecture, landscaping
Average age of the associates: 30 years old

Does your team share a common workplace? if yes, give us a short description:
Yes, we work together in the same architectural firm (Ateliers Jean Nouvel). We worked on the competition during the weekend together in one member’s home. He has a cat and we played with the cat also.