Team of ESARQ Students Wins Second Prize at EUROPAN 12

09/01/14
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The team of Andrea Zupan, Jordi Flores, Gisela Morera and Jordi Sanz has won second prize in the 12th edition of the international EUROPAN competition. The theme of this edition was «The Adaptable City: Adapting the City and Architecture to Urban Rhythms». The team presented an urban-planning project titled «The Rhythm of Colonization» for the industrial site of Irimo in the Spanish town of Urretxu.

Team of ESARQ Students Wins Second Prize at EUROPAN 12

Their project was named as one of the finalists in October 2013 during a selection process that involved more than 30 projects, all of which were presented at the proposed development site itself. The panel of judges was made up of internationally renowned architects such as João Luís Carrilho da Graça, Victoria Acebo, Sebastià Jornet, Clara Murado, Christophe Hutin, Fredy Massad and Víctor Navarro Ríos. Massad currently lectures in Architecture and Criticism at the UIC’s ESARQ School of Architecture.

The competition aimed to make participants reflect on how the management of time can help cities become more adaptable without losing their unique characteristics. Additionally, Urretxu Town Council stipulated that the winning proposals should mainly focus on the adaptability of the industrial site and its capacity for transformation over time. In accordance with this criterion, the panel decided to award second prize to the project submitted by students from the ESARQ School of Architecture. Their plan involved the creation of various neighbourhoods linked by an urban corridor and would allow the town’s residents to retake ownership of the area. The planned development would take place at a regional level and would involve a variety of different strategies, such as relocation, densification, clearing, expansion and reconnection, to be carried out at different points in time.

For the group members, it was their first experience working together, as the students are currently living in a number of different locations: Andrea Zupan-Dover is in Zurich, Jordi Flores is in Barcelona and Gisela Morera and Joan Sanz will soon be travelling to South Africa. Winning second prize was an occasion for great joy for all of them, as it will open the doors to new professional opportunities both within and beyond Spain.

EUROPAN is the name given to a biennial competition involving architectural and urban-planning initiatives. It aims to increase knowledge and promote research in the field of urban planning and housing by facilitating exchanges between professionals in the European countries that support the initiative. EUROPAN also invites architects under 40 to take part in a discussion on the urban sites offered by the competition’s organizers throughout the continent. The current edition involved a total of 51 sites across 16 different countries, with 1,759 proposals submitted and a total of 170 prizes awarded (43 first prizes, 63 second prizes and 64 special mentions). Joan Solà Font, a lecturer in Urban Planning at the ESARQ School of Architecture, received a special mention for his project “Joint Promenade” for the Kreuzlingen-Konstanz area in Switzerland and Germany. Overall, Spanish teams were the most successful in this year’s edition of the competition.