Urban Permaculture

Warszawa (PL) – Runner-up


Team Representative: Jorge Barreno Cardiel (ES) – architect; Associates: Francisco Almodóvar Ruiz (ES), Jose Luis Llaca Bastardo (ES), Angel Marhuenda Serrano (ES), Rafael Molina Planelles (ES), Salvador Ortiz Macià (ES) – architects

Calle Navas 40 8ºIZQ, 03001 Alicante – España
+44 7 835 366 621 – liminaloffice@gmail.com

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S. Ortiz Macià, F. Almodóvar Ruiz, J. L. Llaca Bastardo, A. Marhuenda Serrano, J. Barreno Cardiel and R. Molina Planelles



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

The LOA team was founded on University friendships. Upon completion of our studies we found ourselves in a hostile market due to a troubled worldwide economic situation. However, we strongly believe that only from the union we can achieve our personal and collective interests, which includes international recognition and interesting projects like Europan.


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?

From our point of view, the Warszawa site is an example of unresolved conflict of the urban heritage that many European cities have received from the Modern Movement after the post-war reconstruction. Within this context, we find many contradictions between the bases of this Movement, the strong critical opinions that arouse from it straight after, and the contemporary transforming reality. On the other hand, as Richard Sennet said it, what is missing in modern urbanism in particular is a sense of time. Not time looking backwards nostalgically but forward-looking time, the city understood as a process, its imagery changing through use, an urban imagination image formed by anticipation, friendly to surprise. With this in mind, we erased time from the Modernist old decaying concept of the site adapting it to the rhythms of a more vibrant and contemporary reality, ready to embrace future concepts of urban living.

The Za Żelazną Bramą District revisited
Indoor view of the common areas
Street view, groundlevel
View of the project scale

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?

Nowadays we have more resources to use than in the past, but we still fail to use these resources’ creativity. For us, the present offers the possibility to design cities with a greater level of political equality. If today we could sign a new Athens Charter for the New Urban Principles, it would not be on board the Patris II (CIAM IV), but probably in the proximities of the Syntagma Square. And for sure, these new principles would take under consideration the citizen participation, the sustainability, the politic, public spending, the collective memory, the diversity or the value of the marginal. An important point of the project was to understand that urban transformations have to be done under consensus and they should be slow and small processes. Social cohesion and the strengthening of the sense of identity are the premises for the social sustainability, a vital point for the future and success of the project.


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's our first Europan. We believe that the Europan competition is a platform with a lot of media repercussion in the architectural field and a reference in urban and political discussions of the moment. For us, it is a motivational engine to continue working together and we hope to keep doing it much longer.