Violeta Ordóñez Manjón (ES), architect
Raquel Ruiz García (ES), architect
Monica Lamela Blazquez (ES), architect
Based in: Madrid, SPAIN

Project Description by Team: Free Mühlgang unburies the traces of the past to reveal through a process of erosion the stories, events, and people(s) that have been forgotten, excluded, and silenced. Through the materialization of new programs and exchanges, we will honor them and connect them to the present. From the territorial perspective, we propose to liberate the Mühlgang, recovering it for the city and its citizens, whilst reasserting the significance of this unique urban element through an inclusive public green-blue corridor.
The proposal – a wetland landscape „Waterever“ and an elevated thermae „Hinge” – becomes a statement for an inclusive architecture, which involves and integrates a wide range of actants that will inhabit, discover, transform and enhance a new vision for Gries and the city of Graz.

Jury Statement: "The jury highlights the careful analysis and the new perspective on metabolism in the city. The way the project traces the layers of history and relates them to the site is interesting, studying the potential meaning of the canal in relation to its social and ecological values. For the site’s urban ground, the team proposes a heterotopic public space whose atmosphere, topography and form are defined by its dynamic relation to water / flooding. To transform the canal into an intense physical dialogue with water is seen as a contemporary approach to new forms of public space. Compared to other projects, which use the Mühlgang in a mere functional way, this proposal highlights the aesthetic, emotional and atmospherical component of water, adding important qualities which rightfully challenge the design of public space. […]“

Photo: © Violeta Ordóñez, Cristina Ramos, Pedro Gaxiola

Team Statement: ”Since our first encounter with the site, we were intrigued by its complexity, tensions, and potential, and by the diversity of cultures coexisting in Gries. We were also fascinated by Mühlgang’s history and became passionate about unburying its past traces. Liberating the Mühlgang from its current containment, we created a playful wetland to support its own urban and wildlife. Revisiting the Roman thermae, we defined a permeable elevated gateway to house an inclusive program based on environmental awareness, alternative modes of consumption, gender equality, and LGTB identity development.”