“The green space defines the structure”
The Madrid-based architectural firm arenas basabe palacios developed a hands-on concept for the redevelopment of an abandoned site in Vienna – one which represents a new form of garden city.
The architects divided the site of The Commons into a grid of gardens which would serve as a framework for urban and social development. 33 percent of the land area will be covered with nearly 1,000 residential units, 10 percent is reserved for private gardens, and 57 percent will remain as common green space. The architects defined an urban code for all the gardens. Private owners and investors can buy garden plots and construct buildings around them, ranging in size XS to XL, in accordance with the urban code. The unbuilt areas, or “the commons,” remain open to everyone. Thus, the actions of the owners will determine the appearance of the public space and of the whole neighborhood.
Project author Enrique Arenas from arenas basabe palacios notes: “The structure should be defined not by buildings but by the green spaces. The gardens are the playing board – or the hardware for the project. Once the playing field is defined, we need rules for interaction, or the software. Our garden city also has rules and playing cards. They define how things can develop and which relationships can arise among citizens.
Read feature interview in 4th Holcim Awards 2014/2015 (flip-book)