Posts Tagged ‘Europan’

Proceeded to second jury round: CC183 – Agoraphilia

03:15 PM

Massimo ACITO, architect, team leader; Marco BURRASCANO, architect; Luca CATALONO, landscape architect; Annalisa METTA, landscape architect; Luca REALE, architect; Caterina ROGAI, architect; Lucia DE VINCENTI, architect; Francesco D’IPPOLITO, draughtsman (Osa Architettura e Paesaggio, Rome, Italy)

Agoraphilia: bird's-eye view from Csingeri Road

Agoraphilia: bird's-eye view from Csingeri Road

Problems tackled

  • Lack of identity of the city centre: Today Ajka is more a summa of settlements than a city, the identity of Ajka has been the industrial district since 1960, and today there is no city core yet.
  • Green character to preserve: The structure of the settlement is based much more on natural elements than buildings and infrastructures, this concerns the old villages but also the socialist modern district.
  • Isolation of the project site: The project site is isolated, surrounded by routes and not linked with the public services around; all the area suffers a lack of quality in architecture and public spaces.

Conceptual approach

The public space as urban structure: The quality of public space will define the new city centre, a town centre in a classical sense with a big, paved space, a piazza, connecting the public services and working as an intense core for public life.

Urbanity [...]

Revitalisation [...]

Pedestrian priority [...]

Vegetation [...]

Density and concentration [...]

Connectivity [...]

Identity [...]

Sustainability [...]

Environmental planning [...]

/read the rest of this writing –including more plans and renderings– in issue No.17./

Proceeded to second jury round: HS138 – Human scale

01:11 PM

Zsuzsanna TÓTH, architect; Csaba HORVÁTH, architect; Tamás HOFFMAN, architect (Budapest, Hungary)

Human Scale: madártávlati kép a Csingeri út felől

Human Scale: madártávlati kép a Csingeri út felől

Although Ajka has a history of many centuries, it has been a town for fifty years and is the home of a wide range of industries, it has not been able to develop a city centre of urban character. [...]

One of the major problems of the centre is that in many cases closed backside facades are facing the valuable public spaces. [...]

Our concept is to create a structure that provides the separation and the connection of the masses and the voids both in a vertical and horizontal direction. This way the directions, masses and spaces are united in a meaningful coexistence. [...]

A classical Agora has to be provided with entertainment (cinema, exhibitions), shopping, market, and office facilities. This way the traditional urban activities such as looking and being seen, strolling, communicating will be supported. [...]

As Ajka has missed some stages of historical development, no religious or other major public building could become the focal point of urban activities. Therefore while reinterpreting the centre, besides dealing with the new buildings, we also have to create the public space system of the area.

/read the rest of this writing –including more plans and renderings– in issue No.17./

Runner-up: AJ111 – Ajka Transforum

10:55 AM

Christina LENART, architect; Ernst GRUBER, architect; Michael KLEIN, architect-urbanist (Wien, Austria)

Ajka Transforum: inner square

Ajka Transforum: inner square

What if you enter a competition for a modernist city in times of financial crisis? How to tie people’s urge for individual expression and private property to a city centre that has been born out of the idea of collectivisation? DIY-urbanism instead of waiting for the one to come!

Yet the city is now experiencing the wellproven habits of “the market” – facing city-life sucking vampires that carry names like Tesco. Just as anywhere else, society is increasingly individualising and the wish for private property outrules the sense for community, amplified by the repetitive housing slabs, a result of the former housing policy. People commute between their single-family houses and the shopping malls on the outskirts, passing through the city centre at 50 km/h.


Winner: RI749 – Dense/ Lite

08:36 AM

Martin JANČOK, architect; Irakli ERISTAVI, architect; Pavol ŠILLA, architect; Silvia MIKLUŠOVÁ, architect; Milan VLČEK, architect (Slovakia, Prešov)

The winner: Dense / Lite

The winner: Dense / Lite

A successful strategy for Ajka´s new urban face has to pay respect to existing potentials of the area. Present and well functioning structures should be integrated into the new entity. The strategy is based on counterbalancing the development density in the area. The acceptance of the loose structure on the perimeter of the area allows to generate higher density in the focal area as a kind of antipole. Concentration will give the centre of the town a new appearance and character.


Europan 10 – Ajka, competiton results

11:03 AM

42 teams registered on the Ajka site. The number of submitted entries was 31. In accordance with the rules of Europan the jury awarded one Winner and one Runner-up prize. No Honourable mention prize was awarded. Three further projects were selected to the second jury round of the competition.


Results of the competition:


  • RI749 - DENSE/ LITE: Martin Jancok, Irakli Eristavi, Pavol Silla, Silvia Miklusova, Milan Vlcek (Presov, Slovakia)


  • AJ111 - AJKA TRANSFORUM: Christina Lenart, Ernst Gruber, Michael Klein (Wien, Austria)


  • HS138 - HUMAN-SCALE: Tóth Zsuzsanna, Horváth Csaba, Hoffman Tamás (Budapest, Hungary)
  • CC183 – AGORAPHILIA: Acito Massimo, Caterina Aurora Rogai, Marco Burrascano, Luca Reale, Annalisa Metta, Luca Catalano, Lucia De Vincenti, Francesco D’Ippolito (Rome, Italy)
  • AJ111 - PUBLIC URBANITY: Casciu Mario, Francesca Rango, Davide Negro, Simone De lacobis, Sara Trippanera (Cagliari, Italy)

Sites: Wien, Graz, Eisenstadt and Ajka

  • Bettina GÖTZ, architect - ARTEC Architekten, Wien – president of the jury
  • Maria Auxiliadora GÁLVEZ, architect - Gálvez+Wieczorek arquitectura, Madrid
  • Vasa PEROVIC, architect - bevk perovic arhitekti, Ljubljana
  • Socrates STRATIS, architect – Nikosia, Europan 4 winner, member of the European Scientific Council of Europan
  • Martin FRÜHWIRTH, architect - Europan 9 winner
  • Lesley Naa Norle LOKKO, writer/architect – London
  • Joachim KRAUSSE, scientist on architectural design - Berlin/Dessau/Weimar
  • Georg KOGLER, developer - Europan 3 winner
  • Michaela MISCHEK, developer
  • FINTA Sándor, architect
  • Lisa SCHMID-COLINET, architect -Europan 8 runner-up - substitute
  • SÁNDOR Gergely, architect – member of the National Committee Europan Magyarország – substitute
  • SZABÓ Árpád DLA, architect – national coordinator of Europan Magyarország – substitute for the Wien, Graz and Eisenstadt sites, nonvoting member for the Ajka site
  • Bern VLAY, architect, secretary of Europan Österreich - non-voting member

All projects submitted to the Ajka site and the jury reports are accessible at the webpage of Europan Magyarország:
Results of the competitions at the other sites can be reached at the webpage of Europan Europe:

Living in Ajka

09:46 AM


Ajka is one of the 11 cities in Hungary that started to grow in the 1950s as „children of industry”, most of which suffered an economic and social decline after the de-industrialisation trends in the late 1980s and after the political changes in 1990. It really counts as a new city that has grown from a small mining village with only of 6 thousand inhabitants before the Second War to a city above 30 thousand. As it has been the case in other new industrial cities (as Tatabánya, Salgótarján) state-socialistic policies promoted also Ajka, as a “workers city”, to develop into a central place in its area.

Ajka és a Somló-hegy

Ajka és a Somló-hegy

Recently Ajka is the centre of an area officially called as “small region” in the more prosperous Veszprém county, part of the Central Trans-Danubian Region of Hungary situated North to the Balaton lake and close to the wilderness of the Bakony mountains. The city provides services to 38, in most cases rural, communities with about 60 thousand inhabitants. Thus the everyday life in Ajka, including the character of services provided by its town centre, is determined not only by the city’s industrial past and present but also by the life-styles and capacities of the daily commuters from the surrounding villages.

Urban literature comparing fates of the socialistic industrial cities after the changes in Hungary, nevertheless, shows that Ajka was able to pass through the transitional period in a more smooth way.

/complete writing can be read in issue No.17./

Inventing urbanity in Ajka

04:48 PM

Competiton site and its problems

by SZABÓ Árpád

1. - The city center of Ajka

The site of the Hungarian competition of Europan 10 was the commercial and administrative centre of Ajka, where besides restructuring the existing spatial system, the task was to create an architectural and environmental character, that fulfills the expectations of the 21st century, but at the same time re-evaluates the elements of the architecture of the 1970s. [...]

The new city center built from the 1960s satisfied the functional requirements and even today works - in a strict functional sense - acceptably. The commercial functions located here are in use, there are hardly any empty premises. Nevertheless today the heart of a city deserves much more functionality. [...]

Ajka E10: A tervezési terület

Ajka E10: A tervezési terület

The biggest problem of the existing city centre is the lack of public spaces and public functions, although more than 60% of the population lives in a 15 minutes walking distance from the city centre. In the centre there are no spaces providing possibilities for public urban activities, although this could be the role, which would provide the extra attractiveness compared to the out-of-town shopping centers. The city centre should be the location for the flea-markets, the street- and children festivals and the wedding processions. [...]


City at the foot of Bakony mountains

10:02 AM

HORNYÁK Attila, chief architect of Ajka city

Ajka is a city with 31 thousand inhabitants in the middle of West-Hungary and is the educational and service center of a micro region with 39 settlements and 60 thousand inhabitants. The city is a conglomerate of several villages: Ajkarendek, Bakonygyepes, Ajka, Bódé, Csinger, Tósokberénd, Padragkút. Ajka was officially declared to be a town in 1959. [...]
The present-day city centre was designed in the 1960s under the guidance of Rutkay Gyula Ybl-prize winner architect, following the modernist principles of that age. The realization of the centre started in 1969 with the building of VMK (City Cultural Centre). The other buildings have been realized in the 70s, 80s in two major building phases.
The city centre fulfils the needs of its users, but the new economic, commercial and social environment makes the renewal of the area indispensable. The preparation works of this renewal started in 2004. The Development Concept of the City Centre has been prepared in 2004 by Palatinum Ltd. under the guidance of Erő Zoltán. As a result of this development concept several project areas have been defined. The building of AGORA west of the city centre and the refurbishment of VMK has already been finished, while the Torna creek rehabilitation is under preparation.

Ajka, rendering of the AGORA

Ajka, rendering of the AGORA

/complete writing can be read in issue No.17./

Charter of the participating countries

08:11 PM
Europan 9: Urban Magma

Europan 9: Urban Magma (winner project of Tur Juan, Arriero Ana, Esteban Carlos Higinio and Paz Carmen)

As representatives of the national Europan structures for Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and signatories of this Charter, we undertake to participate in Europan 10.
We believe that architecture and urban design play a major role in the enhancement of the urban environment and living conditions, and contribute in a fundamental way to the cultural life of Europe.
We endorse the initial objective of Europan to give shape to the concept of a Europe in which young people can make an innovative contribution to architecture, urban design and housing, by organizing a federation of European countries around competitions of architectural ideas and exchanges between professionals in the field.
For these reasons:

  • We hereby establish scientific and cultural exchanges in the fields of architecture, housing and urban design. The purpose of these exchanges is to facilitate better communication of that which the towns, cities and countries of Europe have in common, so that they can each benefit from the other’s experiences, while maintaining their national, regional and local characteristics.
  • We offer young European architects the opportunity to express new ideas in their projects and thereby to contribute to the development and renewal of architecture and urban design, and we assist them to realize operations that put these ideas into practice;
  • In our undertakings, we work in partnership with European towns and cities which are seeking innovative urban responses to changing lifestyles;
  • We wish to extend the scope of Europan’s ideas beyond the organizing countries, and encourage and invite other European countries, which are not yet able to organize a competition, to join our organization in an associate capacity;

We hereby decide to start a tenth session of Europan on the generic theme:


The Europan 10 competition

07:53 PM


The objective of Europan is to bring Europe’s young architecture and urban design professionals to the fore, to publicize and develop their ideas. It is also the goal of the organization to help cities and developers which have provided sites to find innovative architectural and urban solutions for the transformation of urban locations.
Europan 10 is a European federation of national organizations, which manages architectural competitions followed by building or study projects. It is launched simultaneously by several countries on common theme, objectives and rules.
The French Government founded the Pan (Programme d’Architecture Nouvelle) competition system in 1971, with a main goal to obtain high quality urban design and architectural projects, mainly at the field of social housing design. Parallel with the European integration processes, the French initiation was raised to a European level in 1988. In the Europan 1 competition 9 countries participated, while the number of participants has reached 18 countries in Europan 4. By the year 2000 the Europan urban design and architectural competition became the largest competition system for young architects, urban and landscape designers, concerning both the number of competition entries and the acknowledgement of the competition.
In the Europan 10 session organized by the 19 member and associate countries 4219 teams registered on the 62 sites. 2429 teams (approximately 10.000 young professionals) submitted an entry. More than half of the competition winning projects of the last 20 years have reached the implementation phase.
Many well known young Europan architects and architecture offices (eg: S333, SMAQ Architecture, SeARCH, Riegler Riewe, Nieto Sobejano or the Hungarian 3h) founded their later carrier at the Europan competition. Nowadays a winning or a runner-up entry at the competition is considered one of the most significant references in a young European architect’s portfolio. [...]
Thanks to the reorganized secretariat (Hungarian Urban Knowledge Centre), the selection process of the site of Europan 10, was completely reconsidered. The Hungarian National Committee of Europan made the final selection from the presentation materials prepared by the municipalities applying for the opportunity to take part in the competition. For the task of the competition the commercial and administrative center of Ajka has been chosen.

/Full article can be read in issue No.17/