January 31, 2010
by Canadian Architect
Langdon Reis Architects (LRA) with Kelly Doran and Louis Hall have won EUROPAN 10 with a scheme for Vardø, Norway. The theme of the competition was “Inventing Urbanity: Regeneration, Revitalization, Colonisation” and entrants were asked to produce a plan for sustainable development.
“Repositioning the Remote” by LRA offers to rethink Vardø’s harbour in order to inform the future of the Barents Sea. In the short term, a set of cultural buildings and spaces inserted into the harbourfront serve to regenerate the civic life of the area and attract new users to the community. With the next phase of Norwegian energy production set to exploit reserves proximate to Vardø, the harbour will act to service the industry while protecting the fragile ecology of the region. Beyond the oil horizon, Vardø must create new means of production, and utilize the harbour as the centre of a postcarbon economy. By revitalizing existing industrial structures with cultural program, regenerating the water’s edge through marine infrastructures and colonizing interstitial spaces with new modes of ecological production, the Vardø habour will again become the centre of public and private life.
Europan asked young architects to develop innovative urban projects for 62 European cities. This year 2,429 teams entered the contest, from some 50 different countries.
Winnipeg-born Kelly Doran is a graduate of the University of Toronto and last year won the Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners. Langdon Reis Architects is a collaborative architecture, design and research studio based in London. For more information please visit www.langdonreisarchitects.com, and for more information on EUROPAN, please visit www.europan-europe.com and www.europan.no/E10.