Team Representative: Jesús Vassallo (ES) – architect
Contributors: Yingying Guan (CN) – architect; Yulong Li (CN), Evio Isaac (US) – students in architecture
2402 Southgate Boulevard 77030 – Houston, Texas (US)
+18 322700143 – jvB@rice.edu – www.jesusvassallo.com
J. Vassallo, Y. Guan, E. Isaac & Y. Li
Click on the images to enlarge
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Yingying, Yulong and Evio are my students at the Rice School of Architecture in Houston, Texas. We had already worked together, and we thought that the brief for the competition in Munich was an exciting opportunity to take on.
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 works at two levels. As an urban proposal it tries to give more definition to an urban landscape that is very open and slightly undifferentiated. At an architecture level it tries to generate diversity of form and use through the repetition of a consistent constructive module. It is precisely the attempt to create diversity with limited means, and at these different scales, that connects the project to the main topic of the 14th session.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Housing, and the interaction between the urban and the architectural scales are the main focus of our work. New Corktown, the project that we developed for the American Pavilion of the last Venice Biennale, deals with very similar problems in the city of Detroit, although the solutions and forms that it develops are different because the contexts are very different.
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?
Most of our energy went into thinking of the project as a system that would be flexible and would welcome the input of the clients and different constituents. We really think that we achieved a robust and flexible solution that responds to many of the needs of the site. The Housing Authority of the City of Munich (GWOFAG Wohnen GmbH) is our dream client. We really hope that we can further develop and eventually implement our solution with them.
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. The award validates our innovative thinking on housing, prefabricated construction, and urbanism, and encourages us to keep working on these problems.