Team Representative: Tao Wang (CN) – architect; Associates: Zhe Wang (CN), Huibiao Wu (CN), Xianjun Zhou (CN) – architects
Contributors: Alessandra Marcon (IT) – architect
Im Holzerhurd 43, 8046 Zürich – Schweiz
+41 76 280 36 27 – email@example.com – www.b-t-arch.com
T. Wang, Z. Wang, H. Wu and X. Zhou
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
The four associates of our team are formed in the college of architecture in the Tongji University in Shanghai, China from 2001 to 2006. During the workshop of Prof. Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas and Prof. Fangji Wang in which we were unified for the first time, we were deeply influenced and well formed by those two professors by their reflection of making the architecture and city. Having graduated from Tongji University, we left China to follow the architecture study and also work in Europe –France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. Formed in the European countries with different cultures, we have always kept in touch to exchange our experiences and knowledge. Qualified as European architects with several years’ practices each in architecture agency, we are of course, looking forward to an opportunity to work together. And Europan gave us such excellent occasion to form our team and realize our idea.
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 series of lands alongside the railway present an urban disruption physically and visually. We want to expand this linear separation and transform this area into a dynamic area, which weaves the urban space and activities together with a legible and ecological public and landscape space grids. This grid is an urban complex structure as a legible development configuration. This complex structure gives the form of the public space, connects the site with the further urban context outside of the site with an ecological system and it establishes a new urban landscape for a large scale. And then the rest of the ground will be completed in time with temporary plantation or activities’ installations waiting for the construction. The urban fabrication is an evaluative and adaptable process, depending on the phasing of the urbanization, the changeable forms of the natural elements, and of course the real needs of the people.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
After the visit of the site and the analysis of the documents, we noted the three different scales of the site:
- the large scale (territorial): the location of the city and its territorial connexion thanks to the historical railway network, but its importance needs to be emphasized and visualised in a new way;
- the middle scale (nature resources/ local geographical character) gives the qualified spaces for the city; it should be organised in a more complex system and serve in a larger dimension in the urban space and activities;
- the local scale (immediate place of site): the city is separated brutally by the railway infrastructure. The railway’s lands property provides a great potential. This linear separation should be expanded into an approachable and agreeable living and working area that changes totally the quality of the place.
4. Have you already treated this issue previously and could you present some reference projects that inspired yours?
In the architecture and urbanism agency where one of our team members has been working for more than three years, she has treated the question of the planted hydraulic grid as a solution to qualify the public space and for the rain circulation, storage and purifying treatment for the whole urban area. At the same time, there are some projects that inspire us a lot such as:
- Michel Desvigne’s master plan project for the new area of Bordeaux, France: the landscape grid is the primary configuration of the city and the urban landscape progresses and changes with the evolution with the occupation of the land;
- Rem Koolhaas’s urbanism project EURA-Lille in Lille, France: the architectural construction composes a brand new territory landscape for the city of Lille and gives the city a metropolitan image;
- Michel Corajoud’s Jardins d’Eole in Paris, France – a landscape treatment integrated with the pedestrian for the interface of the railway and the urban space.
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?
Aware of today’s fragile economic situation, the project would be constructed by phasing for long term. The need and usage of the city and people could be changed in this process and they are conditioned by the national or international economies. The project should anticipate the unpredictable change in its configuration: the complex structure qualifies the public space and establishes the urban landscape; the rest of the lands should play a positive role in waiting for the future construction: the occupation of plants serves as a temporary landscape or urban agriculture that purify the ground before a solid construction. It’s an economic way to quickly change a naked land into an approachable and ecological place; the public equipments buildings are proposed as big volumes, the content of which could be easily modified if the need is no longer the same.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
This is the first time that our team has been awarded a prize at Europan. It is a recognition of our effort. Meanwhile it offers us an opportunity to exchange our opinions with the specialists and officials from the site. That is really a nice beginning for our team.