The Mounts Theory

Besançon (FR) - Runner up


Team Representative: Delphine Meyer (FR) – architect
Associates: Marie Vanderbecken (FR) – architect; Sébastien Denéchaud (FI) – urbanist architect

Studio SDMV, 5 rue du Pavillon, 69004 Lyon (FR)
+33 679 640 668– –

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D. Meyer, M Vanderbecken & S. Denéchaud


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

We became friends at the School of Architecture and it turns out that we have developed a taste for urban issues. Ever since we have explored the fields of Architecture, City and Territory, altogether, during workshops and during our degree projects.

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?

How to make the site and it uses understandable to create places of friction that will be the project support places? Places with high productive potential and the territory's wealth have enabled the development of the Mount Theory. This is based on specificities already present on the site and bring out the different Mount of Knowledge, Observatory, Factory and Innovation.



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

The Mount theory intermingles the global question between existing and potential productive programs and spaces, and also between current uses or the ones to come. This makes it possible to transform the ordinary through a transversal and contextual approach. The project focuses on mutating the premises in terms of the opening up productive spaces in relation to public spaces that become places of exchange and transversality of knowledge. They enable to create places of experimentation and innovation by the association of a diversity of users (inhabitants, students, workers, political decision-makers). These public spaces become then productive.


4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

We have already treated this issue during a master's project workshop, in the Magadino plain (Ticino, CH) with three clusters based on specific production themes specific to the agricultural world: a first agro-food, a second on bio-pharmaceutical and one on recycling. Programmatic hybridization in rural areas has also been a theme addressed in order to recreate promising and productive spaces for a new territorial vision.
First, we based on project on a scientific reference: the theories of time. This enabled us to introduce the notion of spatialization of time in order to develop places where the temporality of uses is a programming medium.
Then, we focused our project on an urban reference: the example of Paris Saclay anchored in the urban landscape. The innovation comes from its governance and tend to reach for production of transversality by bringing together on this platform a variety of programs.
A third and finale reference has inspired us: the architectural Urban living in Berlin. IMKEWOELK architekten develops new sustainable residential concepts by densification in the existing fabric. The project results in the implementation of pavilions adaptable to the uses in order to create active places in a transition between public and private spaces.


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 develops this question on the mount of the factory. The programming imagined on this place supposes to associate the ENSMM, the University, the FEMTO and the City of Besançon. Phasing gradually opens up production sites and cities, while promoting strategic land. This initiates a new image thanks to a major public space supporting a new innovation district.

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 our first participation at Europan. As young professional architects this enhances our authors skills and confirms our ability to formulate answers in coherence with evolving urban issues. Europan also provides an open framework in the relationship between the order and the design of a project and allows more experimental proposals.