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Europan 14: Productive Cities

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City: Alta
Title: Altagether

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Alta is a laboratory of post-production.

Alta is a city for public realm investigations that proposes a place to live in common, altogether.

Productivity is always related to the XXth century, teamed with the idea of quantity and efficiency; the continuous accumulation and use of materials and objects. This approach is no longer sustainable – this material production is almost immoral! The growth factor of this new post-industrial economy exists in a permanent state of crisis, where the dismantling process do not always correspond with a recession; but with an increase in social economy, self-production of research and innovation.

Transcending into a new liquid modernity where production is no longer objectual and solid; Alta gives us the opportunity to experiment in a new way with weak and diffused urbanization, where a constellation of services and functions re-think the meaning of production. The extreme and dynamic conditions of the local arctic landscape are translated into resources in order to reimagine the urban structure as a system of social innovations.

In order to dissolve Alta’s urban sprawl, the intervention operates both extrinsically and simultaneously at a territorial scale, using free infrastructure as open systems that are adaptive and responsive to the harsh climate. Flexible devices, inspired by the vernacular shape of traditional fish flakes, act as a catalyst in the open space, creating new sites for work, culture, commerce, recreation and urban life. These are not pavilions, but activators that can grow, die, or merge throughout the urban metabolism process.

The Skiferkaia waterfront is transformed into a new performative active urban edge, where the nature of the site plays an important role. By revoking the stonework, the landscape is designed as an unstable surface that changes its shape over time to produce a new artificial form of nature. By playing with the varying grain sizes of the mosaic stone made of the local quartzite, the project becomes a flexible interplay of shapes and alternations of solids and voids. The waterfront develops into a patch of interacting ecosystems, where the natural colonization self-produces a heterogeneous, biodiverse and unpredictable living environment.

As a result of the dismantling slate industry there is the great opportunity for Alta to rediscover and embrace the sea, experimenting with a new, productive urban vision.