From left to right: Scott Doig, Tin Phan, Phoebe Chu, Jesper Andreas Christiansen
VIDEO (by the team)
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
This team is a result of young architects across two offices (Air and Haptic) that has kept in touch since their time in school and during their professional life. This team was formed on the basis of many other successful competition runs, and the different core values of the offices. Air is deeply rooted in a method, of treating analysis and architecture as inseparable to each other. Haptics’ core values is to nurture and assist young professionals come forward with their talents for innovation, fresh perspectives, and design skills. Together we were able to challenge each other on multiple aspects in landing this entry: design ethos, alternative approaches, analytical capacity, societal ambition, and professional rigor.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic, Living cities?
Geographically, Hjertelia is situated on a sloping hill, surrounded by agriculture and nature. We defined the main issue as: how do you develop this site as residential, without compromising the existing context? We identified that Hjertelia was the only residential prospect to overlap with existing nature and agriculture, and rather used it as a strength than exclude it.
Rather than removing these existing qualities, we incorporated the existing agriculture and nature into our design scheme as part of everyday life. The future residents could experience the nature and biology through private and public courtyards, fields, communal spaces. For instance, a special type of apple vineyards was chosen so both families of all ages could play in the field, but also allows for animals to graze the land.
We always try to include the local history, culture, agriculture, nature in whatever we propose. Our reference projects are inspired by this approach, such as the Hjertelia site being the meeting place for different ethnicities and cultures, hence the communal values of walled gardens in the middle-east. Other reference to the site being “sloped”, are the combined references of Italian villages on hilltops and the Norwegian way of dealing with steep ravines through terrace houses.
The actors were a key ingredient in our contribution. Not only did we read the existing documents issued by the local and regional authorities, we also interviewed landowner Strande and tenant Salimi that had lived on and farmed the land for many decades. The realism in what they could offer of services was part of our proposal.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Tin and Phoebe has together actually been awarded a special mention in Europan 14 (Alta, Norway). Europan is for us unique, because it provides a prolific platform that encourages you to tackle both design and societal challenges. To have a reference project like this, helps us to pursue other ambitious venues with legitimacy and proof-of-concept.
Office: Air + Haptic
Function: architecture, urban design, property development
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?
• Special mention in Europan 14. Alta, Norway 2017
• 1st place for the Vestland County Chambers. Bergen, Norway 2019
• Honorary mention for the Sara Hildén Art Museum. Tampere, Finland 2021