Kept Soil

Donauwörth (DE) – Winner


Team Representative: Valentin Cordebar (FR) – architect; Associate: Raphael Masson (FR) – architect 

81 rue Léon Frot, 75011 Paris – France
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V. Cordebar and R. Masson



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

We met at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture of Versailles where we already collaborated on various projects. To continue our common experience we decided to participate to Europan this year.


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?

The topic is to connect an autonomous area to the city and produce a new urban fragment from a former equipment. The question of adaptability therefore rises here from the issue of the reconversion of a territory. We tackled the design of the project through that angle: create the city "with" the city and not "on" the city.

Connecting an autonomous area to the city
Series of reasoned actions

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

The proposed site is a military barracks, the activity of which now ceases and offers the opportunity to install a new residential neighborhood. This leads us to project an answer with contemporary issues on the existing context with a strong identity, and the answers might be:

  • urban: atmosphere, density, connectivity, transportation, public space… 
  • architectural: insertion, rehabilitation, building scale, material, sustainability…
  • landscape: conservation of the green weft, visual comfort, respect of the environment…

Kept Soil is exclusively created from the existing

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

We had the opportunity to study the same kind of subjects through the opening up of brownfield sites or transport infrastructures in mutating city. Some works by OMA, Lacaton&Vassal or Work AC influenced us by their scale, their link with existing buildings or their public space qualities.

Zollverein Masterplan, by OMA, Essen (DE)

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?

Kept Soil responds to the site with a respectful, sensitive and ambitious approach. The project establishes a series of reasoned actions, exclusively created from the existing.


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 we have been winners in Europan. This experience was very benefic for us and being awarded encourages us to continue with our work. Considering the actual urban issues, we will probably have to work on these issues in a near future.