Team Representative: Anna Gutiérrez Merin (ES) – architect and urbanist; Associates: Francesca Palandri (IT), – architect and urbanist; Sandra Bravo (ES) – student in architecture
Carles III 46 M 7-2 08028 Barcelona (ES)
+34 646 250 772 – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.underprojectlab.com
A. Gutiérrez Merin, S. Bravo & F. Palandri
VIDEO (by the team)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
The team members met between the walls of Barcelona universities (UIC and UPC) and share the same interest for urban projects and public spaces. This intergenerational team has seen in the Europan competition on the site in Sant Climent de Llobregat the opportunity to investigate new housing models in rural spaces and landscape approaches.
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?
The team framed two main topics. The first one is to come up with a residential model that boosts productive land as well as life quality. The second is to define a resilient model that copes with uncertainty considering all the possible variation of population growth including the one that Sant Climent de Llobregat population is going to double after the implementation of the entire project. With these objectives in mind, “Masoveri@” proposes an up-to-date version of the “mas”, a traditional housing model that has structured Catalan agricultural territories historically. In the “mas”, it is possible to live, to work or to provide a service to the community and to spend quality spare time. This collective housing model is built and kept going by its inhabitants and it can be implemented in time according to necessity.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The declination of the productive city in Sant Climent de Llobregat is tackled on a three-scale strategy in terms of territory as well as society, landscape and economy. At the local scale, “Masoveri@” focuses on creating private and collective spaces around the cherry crops. At the urban scale, the implementation of housing units transforms the site into a new agripark for citizens with cherries cultivations and other cultural activities to enjoy. This new productive landscape inevitably affects the industrial building strip that can eventually become part of the transformation process to sell cherries on the market. At the metropolitan scale, the opportunity is to rethink the rural territory of south Garraf as part of the existing economies of coastal tourisms, the intensive agriculture in the Llobregat agrarian Park, the industry sector below C-245 road and the middle cities as Viladecans that provide services and facilities.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
In some academic projects, we have explored the topic of productive activities in cities and territories, but it is the first time we have explored it in a competition and in such a countryside context. This is one of the reasons why we were so interested in the Sant Climent site, an example of rural space in the Barcelona metropolitan area.
The main inspiration to come up with “Masoveri@” was “La Masia” by Joan Miró (1922). This painting shows a self-sufficient model in which every architectural element has a specific role in the agricultural landscape. Besides, we did some research on the concept of “masoveria urbana” as a collective housing model based on cooperatives tenure. The re-inhabitation of the industrial area of Can Batllo is a prominent self-management example of citizens organised through horizontal coordination to be involved in the decisions and to develop the neighbourhood spending the resources efficiently. Finally, we also studied some examples of urban agriparks as Mas Nouguier in Montpellier (FR). This one is a 10ha productive land developed and maintained by the municipality, and where agricultural land coexists together with other activities for citizens, preserving biodiversity and enhancing the heritage and culture of the area.
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?
Historically, “masoveria” was an old model of housing system where the owner of a land granted the right to live in his property in exchange for working the land and providing an annual percentage of the harvest. Sometimes, the owner and the “masover” lived in the same property, but in different housing units and they shared common infrastructures and collective spaces.
“Masoveri@” proposes a land and housing management based on a cooperative model. The residents become shareholders in corporation but the owner keeps the property of the land. The houses are self-managed through regular assembly meetings and there are some laws and obligations for each actor that are regulated by a contract. The key factor for the success of this model is the strong sense of community and that the members actively participate in all aspects of running the co-op.
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’s the first time we have been rewarded. We are pleased to have the opportunity to debate about new urban projects related to productive and future housing models in Europe. Thanks to the activities organized by Europan and the possibility to meet colleagues from all over Europe we believe we will have the chance to strengthen our professional network and increase our visibility as professionals. Furthermore, winning this prize give us the strength to carry on doing more investigation through urban design competitions.
Office: Anna is a founding member of the Under Project Lab, an architecture+urbanism lab established in Barcelona that does research through competitions of urban projects. Francesca is a freelance and has recently collaborated with Anna on some competitions. Sandra is finishing her architectural studies and she was motivated to collaborate in a Europan competition.
Functions: Architecture and Urbanism
Average age of the associates: 30 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
Not the three of us together, but Anna and Francesca, with Anna’s studio Under Project Lab, won one big competition in 2019 organized by the Barcelona municipality. It is an urban proposal to reorganize a plot of 20,948 sqm with 33,200 sqm of roof that is going to be the main core of Magoria’s neighborhood offering mix-used buildings with housing, sports activities and a new hospital as well as integrating heritage elements and a new big area of gardens and sportive activities.
In 2016, Anna’s studio won a competition to develop 4ha of a central area in a village located on the Estonia-Latvia border. This project designs some urban links between two countries as new streets and squares and a new big park with playgrounds, activities and pergolas. Anna’s studio has recently won a project to re-urbanise a 1500 sqm square located in the historical center of Soria (ES). Both these projects are in process to be built in 2020.
Francesca worked on Eco2bike-Landscape Experiences project in 2015 within the Alta Scuola Politecnica Program and the Vento cycle path project. The aim of the project was to design spaces and provide both digital and physical tools to make the River Po landscape (IT) more accessible to cycle-tourists and inhabitants.