Michalis Ntourakos (GR), architect
Based in: Rotterdam, THE NETHERLANDS 

Project Description by Team: „Bio-based Idiolect“ recognizes the opportunities found in „Froschberg“ and ambitiously tackles this multifaceted design challenge. The vision is taking the future and demographic changes into account and suggests a moderate densification where living, working and sharing overlap. Resilience, flexibility and inclusivity are key qualities. The private, public and in-between spaces are consciously re-evaluated and designed to enhance spatial experience with a full spectrum of social ambiences and sharing possibilities. The concept gracefully bridges the old with the new, which gives the neighbourhood a distinct and consistent character. Approaching the expansion from within results in four replicable prototypes of an inviting architectural language. Their layouts are enriched and offer a variety of units. An additive approach unlocks their full potential and overcomes demolition and material waste. Slow mobility is prioritized over cars and the rich green landscape becomes accessible to the public. Bio-based materials are combined with a circularity strategy and strengthen a vibrant revitalized neighbourhood for decades to come.

Jury Statement: „The jury particularly appreciates the proposed approach for Types A & C, which formulates the idea of an additional layer positioned at a certain distance from the existing building and hardly changing it. Typologically, the project creates a kind of "micro-courtyard" between the existing and the new building, with the more private spaces to be housed in the existing part. The more public uses, such as living room and kitchen, are placed in the new layer with large openings facing the greenery. The jury unanimously finds this a convincing solution. [...] The jury finally underlines the robustness of the concept, the layouts for the flats are flexible, logical, manifold, and interesting. Therefore, the jury is convinced that this proposal has the full capability to deliver a strong and future orientated, new character for Froschberg.“

Photos: © E. Ntourakos

Team Statement: "EUROPAN 16 marks the closing of a personal 10-year cycle dedicated to international architecture competitions. What a fine way to „end“ this trajectory (#almost40) of 5 consecutive EUROPAN sessions, among many other competitions. This win is of particular importance: architecturally, professionally, and symbolically. After all this time the core values still remain the same: to be active in competitions without borders, explore the creative freedom, develop and be inspired and hopefully bring a strong vision to the table that will fuel fruitful and lasting collaborations! Let the next cycle begin!“