Scale L urban and architectural
Team representative urbanist & architect
Location Graz, Austria
Population 291,072 inhabitants
Strategic site 16 ha - Project site 7,500 sqm
Site proposed by City of Graz
Actors involved City of Graz, City Park Graz
Owner(s) of the site City of Graz, City Park Graz
Commission after competition architectural project
Urban City Strategy
The Europan 16 site is located on a pivotal spot within an area of great transformation. On the one hand, we find an old grown town structure in the process of densification and on the other hand a big shopping centre reinventing trade. The current mall is outdated, not only in an economic sense. Its owner is prepared to act in order to stay relevant for city dwellers and is imagining a new multifunctional space. The city supports this thinking while plans for a new tramline running from the centre, crossing the site and the soon-to-be-transformed mall area, have been finalized. Even the difference in scale, function and target will be obvious, the goal is that both areas profit from each other becoming a supplementing whole. The E16 site, a small gem, is in the very centre playing a crucial role in weaving it all together.
The project site is positioned within a context of single, yet hidden, potentials. The handling of this specific location, right at the point where they meet, will make all the difference on how this area is going to evolve. Its mediating role will be key, in order to strengthen existing values, bringing them together and, more specifically, generating new energy. It is a central point in the area, a hinge channelling and merging. A new ensemble housing an open and inclusive mix of programmes inspired by findings of the various neighbourhoods is envisaged: Which uses need to be attracted and have the necessary space created? How to involve and integrate all actors and agents inhabiting, visiting and discovering the area? The task at hand is to create an integrative place, announcing and anchoring the area
How Must Metabolism and Inclusivity Be Developped and Connected?
Shopping malls are to be found on the outskirts of town. Atypically, the “City Park” in Graz, a substantial shopping agglomeration with parking garages and accompanying streetscape, is in a truly central spot. Due to its expansive volume and its focus on cars, it appears somewhat of an “alien giant” sitting in a neighbourhood of much smaller scale. The shopping mall area will be transformed substantially within the next couple of years. Studies on its programme suggest a combination of shopping, housing, and education. The adjacent neighbourhood area is also changing through densification. A lot of new housing projects have been realized recently, bringing more people to the area.
The site is surrounded by remarkable green spaces. Branching from there, a patchy network of nature weaves into the area. In fact, crossing the site is a mill stream, an agent for nature. Its current sealed riverbanks hold a possibility to activate one of the most precious elements for inclusive use a city may have: a resilient base enhancing the urban quality for humans and non-humans alike and mediating between different urban interests. A tram line also crosses through, anchoring a public mobility axis in the quarter. Tram stops will set the frame for urban places. One will be located at the Karlauplatz, an “old village setting” with a church and a bakery. Today hidden by traffic and hardly noticeable as such, Karlauplatz nestles against the south-eastern flank of the site.
A mix of resources are at hand and want to be instrumentalized for a coherent and inclusive concept to emerge.
At the centre is the E16 site. Its role will be to negotiate and to synergize, thereby weaving all the parts together. Its bridging act will not only be of a spatial manner, moreover it will need to mediate the social and the digital by interpreting future trade strategies and valorising the local potential
Questions on the site
This site is connected to the following theme
Recovery New energy has to be found for these sites through a treatment that respects the existing environment introducing specific elements and actions able to develop a resilient city.
These sites are at a crossing-point of different areas, making them important mediators, but also in-between places that can stimulate the quality of the neighbouring areas.
New energy has to be found for these sites through a treatment that respects the existing environment introducing specific elements and actions able to develop a resilient city.
Questions on the site
Fr. 18 June 2021
Deadline for submitting questions
Fr. 2 July 2021
Deadline for answers
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