Rising Stars

Regionale 2016 (DE) – Runner-up


Team Representative: Marcus Kopper (DE) – architect; Associates: Michal Czerwinski (PL), Marcel Moonen (NL), Martin Roth (DE) – architects
Contributors: Aleksandra Borun (PL), Małgorzata Dembowska (PL) – students in architecture

Schönstedstr. 7, c/o KOPPERROTH, 12043 Berlin – Deutschland
+49 030 89 37 45 20 – email@kopperroth.de – www.kopperroth.de

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M. Moonen, M. Kopper, A. Borun, M. Roth, M. Czerwinski and M. Dembowska



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

A group of us already collaborated before, for the 11th edition of Europan. Marcus and Martin, from Berlin, asked Michal, from Poland, and me (Marcel), from The Netherlands, to join them for Europan 12 in Germany: Regionale 2016. Later on Małgorzata and Aleksandra, who are friends with Michal, joined the team as well. At that moment we were almost all in Berlin and that is where we started.


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?

Südkirchen is located in an agriculture-orientated landscape, structured by farm fields, forests and grasslands, punctuated by small towns and villages. Interpreting this landscape as a mosaic, we propose a constellation of interventions, which are based on the urban shapes found in Südkirchen. It embodies the ideal German dream of living in a low-density environment, within a characteristic neighbourhood, among leisure and nature. The six proposed constellations blur the pre-existing borders between landscape and village, garden and street, public and private. An in-between atmosphere is unveiled in which distinctive neighbourhoods can be formed, embracing social, leisure, sport, and energetic programs.


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

Adaptability is still strongly opposed by our conventional ways of decision-making. “Rising Stars” implies local participatory collaborations to create characteristic neighbourhoods. The proposal depends on the involvement of actors: private owners, urban planners and the municipality. It therefore creates an in-between “harmonizing” scale of intervention.

Streetscapes in and landscape around Südkirchen 

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

A reference that inspired us is: “The City in the City – Berlin: A Green Archipelago”, by Oswald Mathias Ungers (1977). This project by Ungers underlies how shapes on every scale, from the regional one to the plan of a single-family house, can be a guidance for mutations. These pre-existing shapes are not to be denied or opposed, but instead, they can be strengthened to become the base for future adaptability.

"The City in the City – Berlin: A Green Archipelago", by Oswald Mathias Ungers, 1977

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?

“Rising Stars” implies interventions depending on the perspectives of the actors involved. By doing so, proposals such as a community swimming pool or a renewable power plant can be developed in means of participation. This stresses the current top-down planning processes to open itself up on different scales from the beginning on.  An “actor-participating-approach” blurs the conventional borders of decision-making; it motivates all actors to be involved in the realization of ideas in a less time consuming and democratic way. A potential role for us planners lies in a smart mediation between the many stakeholders. 


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 the first time. Well, it could help us further if we can actually realize it.