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Site: Os

Winner: Osurbia

Jury assessment: The winning project provides Os with an identity, not by romanticizing, but by enhancing the Os suburban lifestyle in a contemporary way. The project is “learning from Os” and the existing suburban context by identifying elements in the existing built structure of Osøyro and transforms them by creating hybrids that become drivers of change for the town centre.

The Osurbia concept works with five elements from suburbia: the single dwelling, the parking lot, the mall, the gas station and “suburbia beyond the dwelling”. A sixth element, “The strip”, organizes these elements and connects them to the surrounding town, from north to south. The project proposes to expand and transform an existing roundabout to house a public transport terminal on ground floor and parking on top, solving many current issues in a simple but sophisticated manner.

The onsite petrol station is recognized as an integral part of Osøyro and is merged with new public program (museum, gallery, library functions) in an 8-storey building. The traditional suburban dwelling is replaced by housing based on mixed groups of residents and shared gardens.

The winning project points at important issues at stake in the town centre and illustrates an effortless, but appropriate area plan addressing questions about disconnections and fragmentation. The historic buildings are given new importance, a new pedestrian bridge includes a public park and the shopping mall is integrated as an important activator of the river front. The project further illustrates a credible solution for private dwellings along the quay.

The jury appreciated the way the gas station is transformed by adding public and cultural programs, since the gas station is one of the major meeting points in the city today and also how the traffic and parking challenge is solved by placing a hybrid of parking house and public transport hub within a round-about, hence reducing inactive car space in the city centre. In general all the re-appropriations and redefinitions show an in-depth understanding of Os and its future potential in a surprising and refreshing way.

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Team members:

KnitKnot Architecture

Gonzalo Jose Lopez Garrido (ES)

Diana Cristobal Olave (ES)

Tania Oramas Dorta (ES)

Alicia Hernanz (ES)

Runner Up: Preparing Density

Jury assessment: This project was much discussed in the jury as it challenges a conventional type of development and the planned densification in the municipality of Os. It argues that a traditional densification would harm the Os community and instead it proposes a strategy of densifying social, cultural and economic interactions. They do this by introducing a pavilion structure on site to promote temporary activity in the centre of Osøyro, ensuring large parts of Os city centre to become dedicated to the public, and not to private market forces. As a result, a generous urban space with “unrestricted mobilily” is created. The project promotes a system of empowerment where the inhabitants can participate directly in developing the town centre.

The jury appreciated that the project promotes a political act and at the same time creates an unique identity to the place that could become an attraction in itself. The vast open socio-cultural space is a strong urban gesture, although somehow a “tabula rasa” approach as it does not consider existing buildings or public space. The jury finds the idea of placing new buildings aside of the site –west of the main road – an interesting and feasible strategy that could relieve the waterfront from some of the privat housing development and the challenges linked to the demand for private outdoor spaces etc.  The jury also appreciated the idea that external main roads change character as soon as they meet the centre transforms into a large shared space.  The jury believes that this could redefine and diminish some of the traffic barriers in the centre and think this is an alternative that the city should consider.  The pavilions suggested are less interesting and the jury is critical to the less original and operative participatory strategies in the scheme.

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Team members:

Bogdan Demetrescu (RO)


Oana Simionescu (RO)

Ada Oprea (RO)

Alex Voica (RO)

Bogdan Tudor (RO)

Denis Poloca (RO)

Dragoș Nistor (RO)

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Special mention: Limelight

Jury assessment: This project works on two levels: an infrastructural system of paths and a new set of programs. Cultural, natural and commercial paths highlight the most important aspects of the town. The project recognizes that Os already has an identity – the shoreline – and proposes 5 projects along the shore: An outdoor swimming pool, a canopy bridge – a public space above the water, a cinema house in the existing centre, three housing projects on site, a film academy and a waterfront. The project proposes the implementation of something new in the existing context to generate a desire for a new generation wanting to live in Os. Plans are rational, and the project is beautifully presented.

The project suggests a transformation of Osøyro into a hub for the film industry by introducing a film academy and organizing an annual film festival. The jury believes connecting Os to an emerging creative industry through a new educational institution and events could have relevance, but find the particular choice of film not fully convincing. Still, the project plays with the notion of bringing a somewhat alien object into the town of Osøyro, which could act as a positive attractor. This move distinguishes this project from other entries. The jury also appreciates the plan that shows a series of additional surgical approaches across the town centre: small scale interventions which build upon readings of the existing spatial fabric, identity and other qualities, such as a proposal for a commercial bridge and the retrofitting of an existing old building into a cinema complex.

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Team members:

ULTRA Architettura

David Vecchi (IT)

Michela Romano (IT)

Emanuela Ortolani (IT)

Emilia Rosmini (IT)


Elisa Cecchini (IT)

Nicola Donati (IT)

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