A team from the Moscow Strelka Institute - Izabela Cichonska, Nathan de Groot, Lindsay Harkema and Ondrej Janku - has been awarded first place in the TAB 2013 Vision Competition, Recycling Socialism. Challenged to propose a scheme for urban remediation that could diversify the concentric plan of Väike-Õismäe - one of Tallinn's three larger Soviet-era panel-apartment districts - to enhance quality of life, the winning team envisioned Dynamo: a radical plan that would reactivate the sleepy district by “recharging the ground.”
While preserving the city’s architectural integrity and original concept of communal life, Dynamo proposes to enhance community life by opening the ground level of each existing building to public and commercial use. Materials and components removed from the facades would then be recycled and reused to build an open-air museum and additional community infrastructure.
To further eliminate all restrictions that hinder Väike-Õismäe’s sense of place, additional barriers surrounding the district would be removed, allowing landscape to flourish. Neighboring woodlands and greenery would be extended into the district, while a new canal would connect the central pond with a nearby lake. With this, the currently dismal and bleak landscape of Väike-Õismäe could be transformed into a lush and lively community that offers residents everything from jobs to farmland.
The jury, which consisted of Bjarke Ingels (BIG), Inga Raukas (Allianss Architects) and Endrik Mänd (Chief Architect of Tallinn City), commented:
“This project stood out for its essentially simple and well-demonstrated idea – to open up the ground floors of the apartment buildings, together with the central area, and to make them available for public use. [...] The authors of the winning entry highlighted the lasting values of the Väike-Õismäe plan, and offered a clever strategy for creating a new environment and space, which is possible to carry out and execute gradually—even (at least partially) over the course of the upcoming decade.”
“The work’s small downside.” the jury added, “could turn out to be the technical complexity of carrying out the project, as well as fully opening the ground-floor level of the apartment buildings; however, removing number of weight-bearing walls is certainly feasible.”
The second prize went to project Anamorfosis by Antonio Buonsante, Nicola Campri, Marco Taccagni, Merilin Jürimets and Giulia Ragnoli and the third prize to F23 by David Flynn Architects.
The entries to the Vision Competition will be exhibited in Estonian Museum of Architecture from 11th to 30th September 2013.
More information on the project can be found here.