Gmünder Talfinger and the RemsValley Metropolis

Schwäbisch Gmünd (DE) - Runner-up


Associés : Marcel Tröger (DE) – architecte paysagiste et urbaniste, Michael Fay (DE) – architecte urbaniste /

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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
After Michael completed his Bachelors in Architecture and Marcel in Landscape Architecture, we both studied Urban Design together in Berlin. Ever since, we have been collaborating on different interdisciplinary projects, alongside our practices in offices and own works for private clients and on speculative projects.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic, Living cities?
Our project is thinking from the territorial scale of the valley and rethinks the city of Schwabisch Gmuend as part of the new “rems-valley metropolis”. The western city entrance is transformed into a resilient network, which is interwoven with the valley, its history, geology, infrastructures and landscapes. The proposed “Talfinger” (valley fingers) communicate actively with the region and create strong architectural and landscape hybrids, demonstrating a new kind of rural urbanity and the celebration of metabolic interactions within the valley metropolis. The developed typologies follow the goal of creating circular architectural and landscape answers, by creating strong atmospheric and productive spaces, which praise alternative aesthetics of a design approach in the anthropocene. 

 3. How did the issues on metabolic and inclusive vitalities and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
By integrating the metabolic flows and structures of the rems-valley into a design strategy over time for the new city entrance, we have developed site specific answers, which revitalize and turn it into a self-sufficient, zero-waste quarter, where hybrid living and production typologies are combined. The Rems Allmende (Coop) and the Lorcher Höfe (Courtyards) as circular & self-sufficient prototypes revive Schwäbsch Gmünd and reconnect it back into the valley by its hybrid infrastructures and loaded and interwoven landscape lines.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
The search for hybrid/metabolic landscape typologies, as well as the questions of exploring new landscape aesthetics and naturecultures in the Anthropocene is guiding Marcel works. The thinking of horizontality is a guiding principle, and is taking on the theoretical research by P. Viagano, especially the Grand Paris project and her ongoing work on the horizontal metropolis. The works by Archizoom are furthermore an inspiration, especially the “non stop city”, which develops a world-city, an infinite space shaped by the flow of information, services, traditions, communications. Art, as well as philosophy, are playing a big role as constant inspiration too, especially for questions of finding alternative ways of expressing contemporary (planetary) naturecultures and their aesthetics. Artists, such as Rauschenberg (Assemblage Thinking) or contemporary ones, such as J. K. Stensen or Pamela Rosenkranz, as well as thinkers like T. Morton, inform our research. Michael’s architectural inspiration has closely been linked to his time at FAUP. Indulging his passion for hand drawings, art and clear architectural layouts. Over the past years his inspiration has been cherishing from architecture that understands to represent the ability to create spaces with simple measures - the use of genuine materials - clear but powerful floor plans - innovation and sustainability without the loss of the genius loci. Architectural spectrums and trends that may specifically be named might be the new french rationalism, flemish architecture, (swiss) cooperative housing projects and portuguese+brazilian architecture.
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
We propose a step-by-step development of the area: starting off with key projects, which formulate the first spatial settings and will develop a model character for the further process. Goal is to develop a flexible framework, in which afterwards further settings and add-ons can be implemented. The most important infrastructural and landscape settings are tackled first, like the Rems-Allmende Park with the first Rems-Farm (founding of the Coop Rems), the construction of the Garden Gate and the Hanging Water Gardens, the Building Hub in the future Wood Quarter (to start right from the beginning with a recycling of demolition and waste material), as well as trigger sites in the Maker Courtyards, like the Gmuend Wadi with the Fish Farm and the Maker Boulevard with the Maker House in the old Bifora Building. All further steps  intensify the valley cooperations and the triggered processes and will transform SG into a valley city: The “Talfinger” will thereby steadily grow and thicken, leading into a resilient and dynamic future for a living in the valley metropolis.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Yes, it was the first time we took part in Europan. We are looking forward for a cooperation with the city of Schwäbisch Gmuend and hope to further develop our proposals.

Agence : -

Fonction : architecture, paysagisme et urbanisme
Âge moyen des associés : 31 ans

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? if yes, which ones
Yes, Marcel has sucessfully participated in competitions and won several awards in idea competitions, such as:

  • Schinkel Competition - 1st Prize in 2021 , Runner Up 2019 (together with Michael)
  • Lenné Prize - 1st Prize 2016 (concept realization in 2020/21)
  • Schlaun Award for Urban Design- 1st Prize 2017
  • Europaplatz Heppenheim (concept realization in 2020/21)
  • BDLA Prizes 2016 (1st prize) and 2018 (2nd prize)

Projects: Lilien.Acker, Royal Garden Festival Eichenzell (1st Prize and construction), Design for the Wollhaus Square, City of Heilbronn (LP1-2)
Michael has recently finished his first realized modernization and addition of a single-family house. Besides that, he has closely been involved in the construction and interior design of a single family house close to Berlin as well as the interior planning of a Baugruppen project – both during his time at Thomas Baecker / Architekten.