Team Representative: Marina Basdekis (SE) – architect; Associates: Negin Armioun (IR) Contributor: Léa Trouvé (FR), Aki Sahrman (FI) – architects; Meliina Rantalainen (FI) - student in architecture
L. Trouvé, M. Rantalainen, N. Armioun, M. Basdekis, A. Sahrman
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We were all colleagues in an architecture office Arrak Arkkitehdit for about a year and knew each other pretty well. When the Europan competition was announced, we thought it was a good opportunity to form a team of young architects within our office. We had different backgrounds, strengths and interests in architecture. However, with all the differences we shared the same wish of doing a competition in Finland, enthusiasm for creating a different design and challening our skills and abilities.
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 project site, Anttila, used to be a farm, and then an agricultural research center. It had been producing foods and crops for years. The idea was to regain this productivity side and adapt it to the present needs of the modern life, producing not only food, but also knowledge about farming, human connections and experiences. The question was, how to make people who would live in this area feel invested in the village life and be part of the production process of the village. We tried to include this process in all aspects of everyday life of the residents, from recreation to living environment.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The village of Antilla is at the moment almost deserted. The food production as well as the recreational aspects were the points of approach for us. To make the project fit in this specific site, we considered the history linked to finnish traditional agriculture and the potentials of the lake shore. Taking all the social, environmental and economic matters into consideration, we attempted to create a lively and sustainable village wherein,the future inhabitants of Anttila as well as the visitors would feel like belonging to a community. So we wished our design would encourage people to be part of producing ressources with enabling the synergies of communities.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Some of us had been engaged with the question of productivity in some urban and architectural projects during our studies. We used these projects as an inspiration base. Furthermore, the environmental questions have been always important to us and we usually discussed how to address that in our work through sustainable design. There have been many other projects that inspired us in diffeerent ways, from the innovative ideas and implementing research in the design to the visualization and graphic style. However we cannot name any that has had significant impact on our project.
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 paid specific attention to this issue from the beginning and had a lot of discussion about participation of different actors in the prosses. Therfore, we considered 3 steps in time for developement of our project that in each step, there would be possibility for change trough negotiation with residents, the future users and investors. We also proposed different building typologies in which, people have the freedom to choose between a ready-made house, a structural frame that they can design inside themselves or an empty plot that they have full freedom – within the rules of construction- to decide about the building.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
It is indeed our first time being awarded in Europan. None of us had been awarded a Europan prize before and actually, for most of us, it was even first time that we participated in this competition. However, the challenge was so interesting and the result was so encouraging that we think about participating again in future. Since we were all working in the same office, ARRAK architects, of course we got a good support from our office and after the prize, it helped us to be recognized more as highly skilled professionals. It also opened new possibilities for us to get more responsinilities and have more visibility within our office team.
Office: Arrak Arkkitehdit
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?
This was the first competrition we did as one group but seperatedly, we have been participating in other competitions. Some of us had been awarded in smaller competitions in the school but we haven’t won any other prize in international competitions.