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Europan 15: Productive Cities 2

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City: Raufoss
Title: Sewn Heart

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In less than twenty years the population of the city of Raufoss has grown by more than 25%. It is expected that the annual population increase may even be amplified in the next two decades – something that contrasts with other peripheral cities in southern Europe whose process of decline seems unavoidable. We believe that this process is the conclusion of the effort made by the different workers of local industries, businesses and facilities, and also by a large number of courageous policies that have been carried out both at the municipal and national levels in pursuit of sustainability, housing flexibility and, ultimately, social cohesion. All of them have enabled Raufoss to be their home and, greater and greater, that of more people.

Therefore, we believe that the architecture resulting from this participatory process should not be closed on the delimited environment of the project, but should always be understood from a relational situation with an outside that has enabled its transformation. Europan 15 is a crucial opportunity for the materialization of a vibrant urban heart in Raufoss, whose arteries help to connect clearly differentiated urban environments.

Far from being a closed and conclusive urban planning, Sewn Heart advocates the search for opportunities for the inclusion of all these agents in the transformation of the city.

Nowadays, the city center is made-up by different urban layers or island which show up differenciated and disconnected. This dycotomies are shown not only through their typologies but also through the landscape itself.

Our main objective is to propose a new model of society linked to a new urban and economic model that helps us understand the city in a different way. Thereby, we are looking for social cohesion which does not exist in raufoss nowadays. This new society is essential in order to provide integration and social mixture: families, couples, workers and students should not adapt to the existing urbanism but, on the other way, urbanism should adapt to their especific situations.

When Sandwich urbanism is implemented, a single building could contain apartments from 25 to 110m². Therefore, we generate a spectrum of typologies so diverse kinds of people —from kids to the elderly— can not only find their ideal house, but interaction between them is enhanced, promoting crucial social cohesion for the site.

The same spectrum applied to dwelling is present when we approach leisure,work, cultural activities and sport. This cohesion could not be understood without implementing this services whithin a walking distance. The project proposes a series of versatile architectural element that could be configured and used in several ways, depending on the necessity and requirements of the users.