Jury remarks: This entry is an intelligent approach to a complex site. The proposal has managed on the one hand to create a frame for the development and on the other hand it shows awareness that urban planning today is not about designing and controlling but about reacting and adapting to the unpredictable future. This is materialized with a literal ‘frame’ construction that ‘will embrace an open field of possibilities’. This strong gesture of ‘framing’ creates a new civic dimension and identifies the space of the future development. The frame idea contains also poetic interpretations reminding to the concept of paradise, a fenced garden.
The project proposes a development in phases. The first phase of the proposal integrates the existing buildings that might be altered in order to incorporate new additions. The jury found it very positive that the plan can deal with the existing buildings of the area. After this, two more steps are described as possible future scenarios, with different levels of density transforming the site eventually into a covered space with some open air patios.
At the larger scale the project answers in a logical way, reinforcing first the city centre to make use of the existing resources and the proximity to the station. The link with the university is first materialized with an improved system of public transportation and in future phases with the progressing densification of this east-west axis, all with a careful preservation of agricultural areas, what the designer describes as ‘agricultural courtyards’.
Although the plan argues that in Ås there is a tradition of ‘object placed in the landscape’ and uses this logic to position the new buildings in the framed ‘field of possibilities’, the project lacks a deeper reflection of the structure and character of the public space, that appears as the room left out by the buildings. The project could also elaborate more in the different functioning in summer and winter.
In general, in spite of these points that the Jury finds it easy to accomplish in future development, the project makes a very interesting 1st prize for Ås. It shows a good understanding of the conditions, the context, the program and it is also able adapt and evolve during the development process while keeping its strength and character.
Luca Moscelli (IT)
Angelo Renna (IT)
Davide Sacconi (IT)
Runner Up: Hortus Conclusus
Jury remarks: The ‘Hortus conclusus’ project is based on a clear and well-articulated spatial strategy to strengthen the relationship between university campus and Ås town centre by means of a green cultural corridor offset by a well-defined- grid structured- high density housing strip. Within the wider area strategy the project site becomes an anchor point between the two new proposed axes of the town and is envisaged as an inward orientated, car free, Hortus conclusus.
The jury admires the compositional qualities of this proposition (‘a jewel box of urbanity’) in which the various separate urban elements, including the two historic wooden buildings, are unified by a peripheral garden wall into a new urban ensemble. The integration of various building volumes and typologies grouped around the walled garden as well the vertical articulation of a proposed hotel tower creates a cohesive urban landmark.
Laura Alvarez (ES)
Jarrik Ouburg (NL)