Luis Basabe Montalvo (ES), Enrique Arenas Laorga (ES), architects, Luis Palacios Labrador (ES), architect
Contributors: Eva Miguel Gómez (ES), Helena Sebastián Ochotorena (ES), students in architecture


The project offers a comprehensive strategy of densification as an intense procedure of options and negotiations extending the programme of living to a programme which relates the quality of life to the „quality of development with its different procedures. The project offers a powerful tool that activates the residential programm in such a way that it becomes the promotor of an urban space. Combining a grid structure, plot patterns and social equipment with the productive specificity of housing agencies, private developers and communal initiatives the project delivers a convincing strategy that operates as a set of actions on various levels. The taking of final decisions is the outcome of a well structured process which does not reduce the project to mere questions of type, use, building and physical context. In addition, the social work is an integral part of the construction work, offering platforms for exchange and development, ranging from private micro-initiatives to larger collective enterprises such as ambitious concepts of social housing. By integrating the small scale as a vivid element in the overall concept the project creates a productive relation to the neighbouring housing structure, not repeating it but transforming it in its very condition. Parts of the jury think that the proposal is too „semantic“ without relating too much to the spatial qualities. Indeed, the project obviously has troubles with the scale: one can say that it provides the right solution in the wrong scale. As a consequence of the downscaling of collective housing the issue of privacy has to be scrutinized: if the management and coding of the outdoor spaces is not developed and maintained properly, a privatization of the open spaces could counter the intentions of the whole strategy. Although the proposed architecture and structure is not experimental in itself, a big potential of innovation is introduced by the strategy and its re-programming of familiar elements: the blow-up of a garden plot meets the downscaling of a collective courtyard structure – this new interface of scales not only provokes a shift in the organisational development-model, it also integrates a different notion of open spaces which transgresses the system of the grid by offering attractive pathways and routes across the coordinates of the plan. Not new objects but new relationships between things demonstrate a strategy of how to avoid modernist open space. Each proposed square has its own built ratio, acting as an inversed city garden who allows synergies between different projects by special tools such as as the deal with air- rights for example. Clients – e.g. housing developers – can especially take advantage from the structure because it allows them to develop a series of interesting architectural projects within the overall scheme of the urban system. The wide range of use models also reflects the habits of a society of communication where actions like living and working are interlinked in a new way.


E10 Austria - Winners
Europan 10 - Start: January, 19th 2009

 © 2009 Europan Österreich, Haus der Architektur Graz, Palais Thinnfeld, Mariahilferstrasse 2 , 8020 Graz, Austria                                                                      Impressum