Europan 4

Jul 1994 - Dec 1996
Constructing the town upon the town

Figures Europan 4


4500 registrations
2434 entries (54%)

110 prizes

51 winners and 59 runners-up 
on 65 sites

Countries and sites

EUROPAN 4 - 13 participating countries

Europan Belgique/België/Belgien
Europan Deutschland
Europan Ellás
Europan España
Europan France
Europan Hrvatska
Europan Italia
Europan Nederland
Europan Österreich
Europan Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera/Svira
Europan Suomi - Finland
Europan Sverige
Europan United Kingdom

EUROPAN 4 - 5 associated countries proposing a site

Slovenska Republika

Cities of EUROPAN 4 - 65 urban situations

Balgarija: Sofia
Belgique/België/Belgien: Arlon, Liège, Mons
Deutschland: Bamberg, Görlitz (DE) / Zgorzelec (PL), Kempten, Mainz
Ellás: Iraklion, Lavrion, Patrai, Stavroupolis
España: Alicante, Aranda de Duero, Bilbao, Cartagena, L'Hospitalet de LLobregat, Mieres, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, Valladolid
France: Athis-Mons, Aubervilliers, Belfort, Nancy, Rouen Saint-Sever, Saint-Ouen l'Aumône, Strasbourg
Hrvatska: Osijek, Zadar
Italia: Cagliari, Catania, Cremona, Firenze, Milano, Napoli, Roma
Kypros: Nicosia
Magyarország: Budapest
Nederland: Almelo, Amsterdam, Den Haag, Emmen, Utrecht
Österreich: Graz / Eggenberg, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt
Polska: Görlitz (DE) / Zgorzelec (PL)
Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera/Svizra: Basel, Biasca Pollegio, Dietikon, Lausanne, Neuchâtel
Slovensko: Bratislava
Suomi/Finland: Helsinki, Tampere, Vaasa
Sverige: Linköping, Sundbyberg, Trollhättan
United Kingdom: Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester


Transformation of contemporary urban sites

Europan 4 has chosen the outskirts of European towns as its field of investigation. As we witness the end of the dependence of peripheral areas upon town centers, and their emancipation to form constellation-towns, the subject for discussion is the multiple developments of these new urban territories, jigsaw towns combining infrastructure networks, micro-centralities, hybrid spaces, autonomous fragments and abandoned spaces. Europan 4 is asking young European architects to design these projects that will be integrated into existing contemporary spaces in the town, places that already have an identity, but which are undergoing social transformation. These spaces can be considered as so many strategic intersections where new urban dynamics will be inserted:

- refurbishment and restructuring of that which already exists, but also the articulation of new extensions,
- densification of certain spaces, but also development of nature as a new public space,
- creation of new commercial and cultural centralities, but also the conception of an urban habitat.

Onto this metropolitan backdrop, whose diversity will be expressed through the 60 sites proposed to the competition in the various participating European countries, Europan 4 is calling upon young European architects to express themselves on the evolution of architectural design.

- How can planners be more aware of urban use and better incorporate into their programmes the new sociabilities that are emerging in the town?
- How, within the analysis of the context can the evolution of contemporary spaces and landscape be taken into account, even when they have no value as architectural patrimony?
- How can new buildings be constructed, starting from, and laid upon the traces of the old?
- How can the project-object be linked with the project-process, incorporating the mobilities, the technologies, and the programmatical instability that are proper to the modern town?

The theme of Europan 4 can be summed up in a global question: how are the contemporary spaces of European towns to be built upon the traces of the modern, but dispersed town that is inherited from the 20th century?


Europan 4 is proposing to young architects four working themes: 

To position

Since the end of the 19th century and industrialization, the traditional town has exploded, scattering multiple fragments onto its outskirts. To position oneself, is first of all to face the contemporary town without preconceptions, in order to better understand recent evolutions.

To transform

To transform is to finally effect changes of use and introduce innovation by preparing the town for the needs of the future, taking into account the differential rhythms of constructions and public space, by incorporating the project into a logic of social enrichment. 

To inherit

To inherit is to define an attitude in relation to that which exists, founded on an awareness of the locality’s geographic data, its lines of force, land division, its landscape elements, as well as an evaluation of existing constructions, taking into account minor architecture and its capacity to evolve. 

To bind

To bind is to create conditions, by the project, of a process of transformation of what exists, transform the value of heritage into a project tool by finding a conservation-construction-demolition urban logic. It’s also to inset the traces of development into those of the past and to integrate a time scale.

Europan notebooks

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*Europan is an European network of architectural, urban planning and landscape ideas competitions for young designers who take care of inhabited milieus, and followed by implementation processes