Team Representative: Samuel Hervault (FR) – architect; Associates: Lucas Fontaine (FR), Jules Gauffeny (FR) – students in architecture
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J. Gauffeny, L. Fontaine & S. Hervault
VIDEO (by the team)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
All of us gradutated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Bretagne, and we met in this school. Europan clearly appeared like an opportunity for a first collaboration because it is a competition dealing with the development of rural spaces, a subject we like to work 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?
For the competition, the chosen theme was the development of rural villages. We felt it was important to question how the urbanization of the countryside was organized. Before thinking about the development of a community, we must understand its limitations and its boundaries. Dealing with these boundaries is dealing with the links between rural spaces and their potential. This is a key opportunity to create a strong suburban agricultural area, which will feed and support its regions favouring local distribution networks.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The three municipalities belong to the agricultural regions of Drouais-Thymerais and Beauce. They are marked by intensive cereal farming, which is linked to huge exploitations, as it produces enormous spaces with no end in sight. Functions are scattered on the territory without any significant interaction: inhabited, commercial, agricultural or artisanal spaces ignore each other. We must highlight the fact that the current system of intensive production is widespread, using many phytosanitary products, which prevents the possibility to mix areas mixing housing and agricultural spaces. Within a newly organized agricultural zone, new areas will be reserved to welcome new inhabitants and activities. It will penetrate this new agricultural space, and the surfaces will be organized in islet and new housing spaces, with agricultural activities available.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Dealing with rural spaces and their productivity is an exercise that we tried to repeat during our school years. At ENSAB, several teachers offered workshops on this theme. We were inspired by these experiences for our response to the competition but also by different researches of architects, landscapers and town planners who guided our thinking. This is the case of Broadacre City by Frank Lloyd Wright, the works of the Janin brothers, those of Paola Viganò and the projects of Glenn Murcutt.
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?
Discussion is an integral part of our project process. "Agricultural Urbanism" could not exist without successfully bringing all the necessary interlocutors around the table. In our view, it is important that each of the actors concerned (communities, agricultural partners, users, etc.) be able to express themselves during different time periods. This is the whole of this interaction suite that we tried to express in our comic strip.
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 we have been rewarded at Europan. We have recently graduated and winning such a competition offers us, in addition to the visibility given by Europan, a real opportunity to obtain a first order. It is also an opportunity for us, young architects, to be able to meet other professionals questioning similar issues.
Average age of the associates: 24 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
The team has never designed a project or won a competition together.