Nürnberg (DE) – Winner


Team Representative: Christian Wolff (DE) – architect; Associates: Benjamin Scharf (DE) – architect; Anne Scholz (DE) – MSc.
Contributors: Agathe Julienne (FR) – student in architecture 

Liebigstrasse 24, 10247 Berlin – Deutschland
+49 30 648 200 08 – –

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B. Scharf, A. Julienne, A. Scholz and C. Wolff



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

We founded fabriK°B Architekten in 2010 after working in several offices in Austria, Spain, Germany and Mexico. With our team we took part in several competitions and housing projects before. For Europan 12 we formed a well-rehearsed team with Anne Scholz MSc. specialized in housing projects and Agathe Julienne.


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?

The city and its residents’ ways of living are continuously changing, just as their needs for living. Structures and buildings from the early 20th century are most of the time not able to adapt to these changes. But there can be elements of heritage that are worth being updated. We transformed the idea of the early 20th century way of living in the city in smaller space but still having a yard and the opportunity of self-supply by generating a higher density. Changing the horizontal existing structure of detached houses into a vertical organized system of private and public spaces generates flexible living structures. While the needs of the people change within lifetime architecture should be able to respond. Bright rooms, fresh air, place to retreat from the noises of the city and generous space for activities and communication are rare in cities, especially close to the housings.
The anonymity of the cities may be charged by working time or growing population, and its architecture makes exchange between generations and social classes more difficult, even a close proximity. The new public places around our project and the inner open spaces for the residents promote the communication and meeting with the neighbours in different levels and situations.


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

The “YOURBAN” project reinterprets the existing residential area with privately used gardens into urban living with common and privately used external spaces.
The common area in the very center of the site and the commercially used area in the nearby town provide the old and new residents with spaces for identification, for communication, recreation, and trade. Common spaces on the ground floor (communal kitchen and garden, bicycle storage, etc.) allow random encounters and specific interaction. The main plot plan for the homes is located in the inside common square to promote the internal communication. The former privately used garden plots for inter alia barbequing, idleness or playing are transformed into spacious urban loggias between the apartments and open staircases. The interconnected loggias provide with room for communication and private meetings in direct neighbourhood.


4. Have you already treated this issue previously and could you present some reference projects that inspired yours?

Prinzessinengärten in Berlin can be seen as an example for the needs of people in the city. The project helps reducing social separation and isolation by giving space to meet and communicate in the neighborhood while farming. As a social and ecological farming in the centre of Berlin it teaches about farming in our living space “city”. Many volunteers help with the work. And a lot of visitors are joining the spirit of this place every day. landscape architects from Berlin/Munich formed yards without a fence or hedge in the project Urbanstrasse 11, Munich. The terraces are giving privacy for the livingrooms trough an outdoorbench and a different floor but also working as meeting point for neighbours and friends. They soften the common borders between public and private, therefore forming more space for communication and activities for a while.


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?

The residents take the center stage. What matters to be able to live in the city? What feels right? In our project we defined the following parameters for present and future housing: it forms flexible space for living, lets air and sunlight in the rooms, separates traffic noises from the yard where all the homes are looking about, gives outdoor activities a space right next to the own door, car-free especially for the little ones, promotes friendship and communication with the neighbors and exchange between generations and social classes. The more the residents identify with the place the more people value materials and places. We also see a social sustainability in a well-functioning neighbourhood.


6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

Yes, this is the first time. It is motivating when the project is honoured with the prize. First of all it gives a great feedback about the ideas we put in our project. It shows us that we are on the right track. We already planed housing projects so it would be a great opportunity to tie in with the experience of the previous years on this project.