• Europan 10
  • Wien
  • winner

Competition team
Enrique Arenas Laorga (ES)
Luis Basabe Montalvo (ES)
Luis Palacios Labrador (ES)
Eva Miguel Gómez (ES)
Helena de Sebastián Ochotorena (ES)

Author(s)
Enrique Arenas Laorga (ES)
Luis Basabe Montalvo (ES)
Luis Palacios Labrador (ES)

Client(s)
ARE (austrian real estate gmbh)

Garden>Courtyard

Competition

2009
The planning of [sub]urban contexts is perceived as the creation of supports for the many processes that constitute the city.
The strategy is fivefold. First, a grid of gardens initially structures the area, forming land subdivisions and urban objects. Second, building takes place around – but not inside – each of these gardens, concentrated on the north parts of the site, allowing for a more open frontage to the south. Third, these ‘extroverted’ plots are colonised by different occupants: public, developers, co-ops, individuals, etc. Initially there will be 4 public housing blocks per hectare. Fourth, each garden initially contains 370m² of potential building land, that can be increased by buying more from neighbours, or sold if not needed. Fifth, the neighbourhood gradually becomes denser, but in a heterogeneous way that always reflects its population’s needs.

Studies

2010-
A preliminary draft of an urban plan for the area was produced after competition.
Instead of proposing a pre-designed urban fabric, the project proposes a collective pattern for individual interpretation: a grid of gardens structures the area. It is possible to build around the gardens, not inside. Several actors (from large companies to individuals) can colonize these “extrovert plots”, promoting diversity of building scales and urban relations.
Once this structure was fixed, the next stage of the project was to investigate the relations that this framework can produce by redefining a configuration of free space. The proposal is a collective space that is reprogrammable over time and with ownership capacity. The result is a fabric that is porous not just in terms of low environmental impact, but also of constructive flexibility and process continuity: a liquid that adapts to society's changing needs.
The process has been a collective effort based on negotiation, in collaboration with the local architectural team, Mascha & Seethaler, management experts (Raum&Co), mobility (Traffix), landscaping (Land in Sicht), energy or sociology, as well as representatives of the neighborhood, the soil promoters (ARE) and the MA21 office of the Vienna City Council; all of them active participants in the design process. The team published the story of this collaborative process as a comic ("Commons"), from the winning project of the Europan 10 competition in Vienna and its later development with a multidisciplinary team until its definitive passing by the Vienna City Coucil. "Commons" obtained recognition as an example of innovative, sustainable and democratic urbanism.
One of the most challenging issues of today is the question whether housing in itself, as a programme, has the power to generate an urban neighbourhood. “Garden>Courtyard” plays the ball straight back to the municipality, developers and users, suggesting an extrapolated concept of mixing with just a single programme – housing: housing with diverse models of living, diverse models of sharing, diverse models of developing, diverse models of financing, diverse models of landscaping diverse models of maintaining.
After a 5 years long collaborative planning process, the master plan has been approved in September 2015 by the municipality of Vienna. The team is now (2016-2017) involved in the design of 80 housing units arranged in 11 building blocks of different sizes, from one to eight stories following the idea of diversity and flexibility developped in the Europan competition project.

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