Team Representative: Alberto Montiel Lozano (ES) - Architect; Associate: Pedro De La Torre Prieto (ES) - Architect
Collaborator: David Belmonte García (ES) - Architect
A. Lozano, P. Prieto & D. Garcia
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We have known each other since we were students in the Málaga University. We met on the first course and started doing all our student activities together. That really developed our synergy and teamwork. Doing competitions as full-fledged architects is just a natural extension of all these years.
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 city of Selb was looking for solutions in the area surrounding the train station and its connections to the city center, the suburbs and the park. Wethought of a battery of interventions to give a proper solution to each situation and the links between them: -The city: We propose a modular system of housing called « Bausteine », a flexible solution to fill the voids of the urban tissue and generate clear limits which consolidate the urban space. These Bausteine have different shapes to adapt themselves to its residents: students, families, seniors or commuters. -The park: To remove the contamination of the industrial area surrounding the train station, we propose to create a productive park with plants that can cleanse the soil through phytoremediation. We made an analysis of the region´s biotope and planned a catalogue of suitable native species for the park, which is intended to be maintained by the people of Selb. -The paths: There are a few railways that will be reused as pedestrian walks through the area. The project also manages to reorganise and following two clear axes: the north-south axis between the city center and the suburbs and the east-west axis between the Rosenthal park and the old industrial area.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Selb is a perfect example of a postindustrial european town, with a very competitive industry which have survived globalization through specialization. Selb is the principal porcelain producer of Germany, still its population have diminished, slow but steady, since the seventies. This tendency makes us think that the city doesn´t have to grow much more. The necessity of dwelling can besolved by rehabilitating and using the existing plots of the city center. So, we thought of another way of producing that doesn´t have to be an actual building, but a free space like a field could be. That´s when we got the concept of the « productive park », an innovative way to give use to a non-site and transformit to a place that people can walk through, play with, produce, etc.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have worked with concepts like sustainability, reusing or rehabilitation before, but this is the first time that we applied them in a projectwith an urban scale. This project was a good opportunity to study the phytoremediation process and to think of it as a tool to redesign degraded landscapes. We did some research of these decontamination method and analyze projects around the world: an old gas plant in Sweden that was replaced with a willow park to remove leaked hydrocarbons, the infamous contaminated surrounding of Chernobyl and the following cleanse of filtered Uranium isotopes with sunflower fields, hydroponic plantations who filter the waters of the Ganges river in India, etc.
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?
Time was a key concept for our project. Because of the scale of the intervention, it was mandatory to outline a precise timeline to implant all the measures that we proposed in a sensitive, economic and realistic way. We also foresaw a necessary flexibility in certain aspect of the implantation of the project, for example the dwelling, so it could be specifically adapted to the demands of Selb. For us, once the strategy was settled it was enough, one could get into details interacting and listening to the clients, the population of Selb.
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 we participate in an Europan contest and we feel really honored to have obtained a special mention. Given the fact that ultimately, we didn´t won, it doesn´t really changes our professional horizons, but anyway it is a prestigious contest and colleagues value these kinds of achievements.
Average age of the associates: 32 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
- First prize Competition DETEA 10 Spain - First prize 23th Competition Pladur Spain - Special Mention Competition Rehabilitation Building Lafarge in Toledo - Second prize Solar Decathlon 2012 Andalucia Team - Third prize Competition Rehabitando ‘17 in Huelva