Team Representative: Simone Valerio (IT) – urbanist architect
Associates: Stijn Elsen (BE) – architect; Frederik Vandyck (BE) – architectural & urban theorist; Pauline Durand (FR) – architect urbanist
Collaborator: Tom Uytendaele (BE) – landscape architect
Koolmijnenkaai 30-34 B, 1080 Brussels (BE)
+32 486 58 04 02 – email@example.com – kaderstudio.eu
S. Valerio, T. Uytendaele, P. Durand, F. Vandyck & S. Elsen
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
The team was formed in Brussels by a group of architects, urban planners, researchers and landscape architects interested in the context of Tubize and the topic of Europan 14, from both a practical and a theoretical point of view. Following the initiative by Simone Valerio (Kaderstudio), Pauline Durand, Stijn Elsen (Kaderstudio), Tom Uyttendaele, Frederik Vandyck, joined the team with the aim to share their expertise in built-projects in Belgium, multi-scaled master plans and knowledge in post-industrial contexts.
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?
Being aware of Tubize's productive past, it becomes clear that the main issue is the reconstruction of a mixed-use landscape that establishes the lost connection between living, working and dwelling. By investigating different types of economic activities and potential initiatives from the population, we depicted what productivity means for the suburb and proposed a resilient system able to satisfy actual needs and anticipate future demands. Diversity is required in terms of typology and program to activate this urban generator.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The whole area has been confronted to a continuous mutation over the centuries, driven by the development of infrastructure and economic activities from local to international. Today a master plan is under development to fill the tabula rasa of the Forges de Clabecq while the site project looks like a left over. Based on a reversible parking grid, our project sets both the blueprint of the spatial strategy to be implemented in different phases (development strategy) and a hinge for the whole territory in terms of history, landscape, uses, mobility (hyper-contextual). It aims to give an impulse and a rhythm to the surroundings and the city itself and question the nature/ambition of the undergoing master plan.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Our team has worked on similar issues. Simone Valerio and Stijn Elsen (Kaderstudio) constantly focus on Brussels'regeneration where the debate has become very relevant. Frederik Vandyck's research at VUB revolves mainly on the topic of productive cities. Pauline Durand has worked on the post-industrial territory of Manchester-Liverpool at TU Delft. As the project's brownfield starts from a tabula rasa, we have set ourselves the challenge to link the theme of productivity to the architectural expression.
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?
We conceived our project as an open-ended strategy made of fixed and variable elements. The implementation in time is one of the topics we have addressed by offering an extremely high degree of flexibility, both in terms of program and space without renouncing to a clear configuration. We believe that the future input of the actors will strengthen the project even more.
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 our first Europan prize and we are of course very proud, given the importance of Europan's international reputation. We do believe our project is both ambitious and realistic. Getting involved in a possible implementation of the project could be a significant step forward in our careers. Above all, it would be a great opportunity to engage in an open collaboration with the city and the client for the master plan development.