Team Representative: David Tantimonaco (IT) – architect
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
I wanted to take part in the competition since the beginning. When I read the complete brief, I had an idea, and I felt quite confident in it, so I decided to go further with it alone also to better manage my short free time. Of course, I discussed it with some friends that helped me to make the idea more consistent.
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 main aim is developing a project able to grow together with the urban scale and to create relationships between the current and the future residents of the neighborhood. To achieve this, I based the project on three elements: the greenhouse, the library, and the housing-hub. The greenhouse is a production area were different people can share their knowledge in a casual environment, using the principle of KmØ production as a trigger for a cultural and social change. The library is an element capable of attracting a full area of the city, making it a self-standing feature of 3200smq that protects the square and its activities. And the housing-hub is a platform that combines modular constructions according to the transformations of the entire neighborhood from time to time, carrying out a process that could create economic and social conditions to facilitate the inclusion of luxury apartments.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The people that live in this neighborhood are mainly unemployed, with a low income and little education and whose lifestyle can be labeled as unhealthy. But some activities, like the market, restaurants, and bars in Shiedamseweg, are also able to attract people from the healthier part of the city in this multicultural environment. Why these kinds of activities and cannot be the main actors of a mutation process based on equal opportunities in education, work, culture, and sports?
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
I never had the opportunity to treat these kinds of issues before, but I have references based on personal experiences, work, and studies. My first reference was the project “Detroit dirt - from the ground up” that shows how to transform an issue into a social opportunity. The MVRDV studies about modularity in architecture as an element of flexibility and mutation of the space not based merely on composition. And Superklein in Copenhagen by Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex, as a successful project, that uses diversity as a value to connect people from different cultures in a playful way. Detroit Dirt “From the ground up” Dutch Design Week 2017 - Eindhoven (MVRDV), Superkilen – Copenhagen (Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex)
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?
The project is not about architecture, but about the process. Linking the study area to the project site by a masterplan based on green, sport, and culture, provides a higher value to both during the time. In this process, the developers take part in a negotiated process by deferred investment, using prefab modules to accommodate various types of apartments adapting to the different needs of the residents. This construction strategy also lets the daily activities safe from a traditional construction process that makes the plot inaccessible for an extended period, risking to provide an architectural object that could be misinterpreted and let people forget about the social value of the area.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
It's the first time that I take part in Europan. I'm happy about the result; this gives me useful feedback to look forward to continuing in other competitions.
Average age of the associates: 29 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
Till now, I participated only in minor competitions with different teams. We get some honorable mention or shortlisted.