Team Representative: Mihai Buse (RO) – architect; Associate: Márton Tövissi (RO) – architect
Contributor: Tamás Fischer (HU) – architect / 3D renderings
159 Avenue d'Italie, 75013 Paris – France
+33 7 53 30 59 66 – email@example.com – www.a-platz.com
M. Buse & M. Tövissi
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We were colleagues at the Architecture University in Timisoara, Romania and we have already worked together on various projects. Mihai met Tamás, who comes from Budapest, during an internship in Paris.
Our project for Graz was elaborated between France (Mihai and Tamás) and Romania (Márton), strongly relied on internet communication.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: Adaptability through Self-Organization, Sharing and/or Project (Process)?
The main objective was to “dissolve the barrier of the railway tracks and to further establish the main station and its surroundings as a coherent neighbourhood", as the competition brief stated. We strongly focused on the new public spaces and the urban scenography, and we had a special attention to the neighbours along Waagner-Biro Straße, offering them the possibility to cooperate.
The answer on the session main topic lies in the highly adaptable concept, the treatment of the public space as a key element. We used the building mass to define a series of courtyards, which provide a gradation from public / shared space to private space.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The E13 site is like an enclave bordered by heavy and noisy infrastructure. Due to the urban renewal policies of the city of Graz it becomes a strategic point and from a forgotten land it turns into a gateway to the city centre. The challenge was to create a coherent urban continuity and from a peripheral place to transform it into a neighbourhood centre and urban transit space, a pair of the train station on the opposite side of the tracks.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have already been confronted to similar issues. The railway is a characteristic element of our cities and in the post-industrial period the urban renewals around them represents a common reality. Our approach was –instead of trying to hide or ignore it– to exploit the attractive and poetic side of it. We had inspirations not only related to the issues of this site. The Placa Reial from Barcelona, the National Archives from Paris and the Bahia and El Badi palaces from Marrakesh were among our references.
5. Today –at the era of economic crisis and sustainability– the urban-architectural project should reconsider its production method in time; how did you integrate this issue in your project?
We believe that this kind of project will constantly be subjected to rapid changes generated by economic laws that are often difficult to predict. So we were rather interested by the relations between spaces, how to connect with each other and with the outside, which are public and which are private, the program being a secondary justification. Function is a component in constant change. Buildings generally have a much longer life than the program that they have been designed for. A sustainable development must take account of this fact. Therefore we proposed an adaptable structure that can host the current program, but possible future adaptations are perfectly achievable.
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 our first award at Europan. With this prize we have become more confident and hope to gain a bit more visibility for our work. It could help us to build up new professional connections.