Here comes visiondivision's entry for the Europan 12 competition, the world's largest architecture competition which is organized every second year. Their entry was awarded with a special honorable mention for the Swedish site Kalmar where thay proposed five different settlements at this rural site for five extreme lifestyles where its enthusiastic inhabitants can dwell and prosper with people that share their specific passion in life. The specific interests also became the main drive for the design, creating five unique structures.
From the Architects:
Forts of Fanaticism In the past twenty years the most radical change in Europe has been the diminishing power of borders. Psychical and political borders between countries has dissolved, bridges and tunnels has been built and the cost for air transportation has reduced and is now equal to a shorter train ride between two major cities in Sweden. This has led to a closer contact between European cultures and the younger generation of Europeans travel, work and study all over Europe and speak in most countries fluent English, thus making communication with each other very easy.
When the national psyche and the borders of countries becomes less interesting and important, the citizens starts to make their own definitions of how they see themselves and what they want to belong to. This specialization and search for each and everyone’s individuality can take various forms and with the Internet that has made the world smaller, one can now communicate with people all around the world sharing the same interest and beliefs. This has led to a Europe that can be seen as one major country. A country where many people has the technological tools to team up with likeminded to make a flourishing arena for different types of fanatics to connect.
We see it for example in right wing and left wing organizations that are teaming up across borders in Europe but also in people with different interest sharing the love for their specific subject across old borders. With so many people that can easily move and communicate, a new market for people to join in physical settlements has been created. Because if you are enthusiastic about a certain thing, why not surround yourself with others that share this passion?
These new kinds of dedicated settlements can be built anywhere in Europe even in the far distant Kalmar region. These settlements can also be architectural more extravagant and Utopian than architecture erected to please a local crowd.
As each built community are tailor made for that specific interest, these full time hobbies can evolve even further.
In this proposal we have designed five forts where common interests in a specific subject has been the main drive of the design. The forts are made for people with a common love, but love spreads and these hubs of intense specialization will of course be enjoyed by local citizens of Kalmar as well, that will have a highly interesting smorgasbord of possibilities and advanced thinking that will enrich the whole region.
Forum Floresco is a fortress for those who love gardening. The building complex is designed as a circle of 60 row houses. Each row house is roughly 200 sqm with an extra space for gardening of 230sqm. Each row house has a flexible plan with a staircase and a bathroom core, making the house easy to divide into 5 apartments sharing one kitchen. The complex can in total then have 300 apartments at its maximum. The extra space includes underground parking and plant storage for plants who sleeps during the winter, a green house on the roof for exotic plants and a garden pointing towards the center of the complex.
The central garden can be divided into several smaller gardens. Where people living on the upper floors will have their gardens further to the center and still be able to see their gardens from their balconies. Each garden is divided by a hedge giving privacy while sitting down and social interaction possibilities while standing up.
The house complex has a central square where all of the citizens nearby can buy locally grown crops. The center is reached by several small paths between the hedges. In the squares center a high water sprinkler rises. The sprinkler can make a perfect half square of water, irrigating the central garden when needed.
The Herring Bounds
Many people dream of the picturesque fishing village with its narrow streets and dark tar drenched wooden houses with its rich smell that blends so well with the salty wind from the sea and the sound of seagulls.
The site’s proximity to a beautiful archipelago would be idle for a fishing community where anyone with the dream of catching fish as a living can set up their new life. The buyer of these houses will have a private boat harbor just under their house as well as a place to park their car underneath. The ground floor can be used for commercial use, to sell the newly caught fish or the smoked herring or other whitefish. The rooftop is equipped with a sturdy barbeque/fish smoke.
A lighthouse stands tall to guide the boats around treacherous cays. Each house has shutters that can be closed or open as seems fit. During the summer time hordes of tourists and citizens of Kalmar will probably wander around the narrow streets and the central square where it is possible to buy fish direct from the boats.
During winter the village will have a more closed appearance.