SMAQ wins second prize in the eighth edition of Europan with the project L.A.R.S. for Bergen, Norway. The topic of EUROPAN 8 was ‘European Urbanity and Strategic Projects’. After winning EUROPAN 6 in Burgos, Spain and receiving a second prize in Bern, Switzerland (EUROPAN 5) and Krems, Austria (EUROPAN 7) this is SMAQ’s fourth winning EUROPAN project in a row.
The prize ceremony took place in the Norwegian Architecture and Design Center in Oslo, Norway on the 6th of February.
Linking ├ůsane: Remastering Strategy
The brief asks to build up a town center for ├ůsane. Rather than to import an a model of urbanity or a “unifier” foreign to the site, L.A.R.S.’s strategy is to pull on-hand conditions and continuities across the location and the highway and let them work with, against or next to each other. Their sudden encounter generates a site-specific mix, a site-specific edition of urbanity. L.A.R.S. bases its methodology on the self-regarding logics of the periphery and plays out individual interests. This strategy of self-concern leads to intersectional surpluses.
Activating Contradictory Potentials.
One of driving conditions at hand is the market driven interest to further extend the commercial program. The existing highway exit meets this demand for added large scale shopping. The other, seemingly opposing, potential is the surrounding landscape and its usages. The ├ůsane valley offers beautiful views onto the nearby range of hilltops and must be considered as a base for afternoon walks and hikes. L.A.R.S. sets out to explore how these contradictory potentials will become layers between which a whole range of programs may slip and form an integrated connector that not only attaches the dispersed “islets” of ├ůsane, but becomes a place of dwelling and working itself.
L.A.R.S. is not composed from a common overall idea but draws on accidental encounters and interstices. This is the driving operation for the generation of the urban, programmatic and architectonical layout but it obviously has effects on the social realm. Divers users including large quantity shoppers on the one hand and daily customers on the other, dwellers, workers, passer-throughs, hikers, school kids, watching parents, afternoon walkers, morning runners casually share the space. L.A.R.S. engenders a field where to meet, stumble upon, run into and come across an emerging diversity.
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