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Europan 14: Productive Cities

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City: Lillestrøm
Title: The Living City

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The goal of the project is to develop a neighbourhood where modern manufacturing processes, contemporary workplaces and avant-garde housing projects come together as a sustainable alternative to suburban development. The title, “The living city” is originally the subtitle to Frank Lloyd Wrights “Broadacre” project, chosen to to indicate that we see in this project a chance for a mix of rural, industrial and urban life.

The long time from initiation to completion give the possibility of a long phase of prototyping. What kind of public spaces, workspaces, manufacturing plants and houses will be needed in the future? In the first phase we will prototype solutions that serve as attractions to the area, making it known and preparing for future adaptation. In the second phase we adapt the existing areas through new buildings and functions, mixing social activities with production. In the final phase the area will serve as a large scale test for a modern settlement. It will be a place with its own identity, a place where one can both work, live and socialize.

The proposal is conceived as an overall strategy for a development over time that makes prototyping possible, including examples of urban structures, prototypes and a general plan.

The universal and the specific

Production facilities require a mix of highly specific spaces and generic areas without a predefined use, both indoors and outdoors. If we look at current industrial and housing production we would claim that the housing projects are increasingly specific with few spaces that are generous or undefined, likewise if we look at industrial buildings they have lost the specific qualities of space, context and cultural expression. As new technologies and development change the way we look at production we believe there is a possibility to develop a new architectural and urban model.

What we propose is to use this idea of specific and generic spaces as a framework not only for the productive facilities, but for the development as a whole. The project will develop, over time, a set of conditions, spaces and areas that can be filled with content. In the first phase we suggest that a shared use of the outdoor areas can be developed into a public program that will coexist with the production facilities, in the second phase we suggest that housing and production can co-exist.