Team: Elizabeth Keller (NL 1975), Remco Rolvink (NL 1974)
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Prelude puts the case for creating a cross-canal connection between the project site and the SuikerUnie site on the opposite side. This would create an urban link between the neighbourhoods to the north and south of the strategic site. By phasing the plan a bridge could even be built from the project site. The building material, Miscanthus, is 'cultivated' on the project site and this raw material would be used to produce the organic concrete for building the bridge. The bridge, built by the people living in the neighbourhood, will act as a catalyst for the development of the former factory site.
The designers of this entry have resisted the temptation to do what the assignment had challenged them to do: devise an attractive programme. They have deliberately chosen not to do so, not least because they recognise an important quality in an empty, unprogrammed space. They limit their intervention to opening up and accessing the area. To that end they have designed a bridge that is both a connector and attractor. Volunteers will carry out most of the building work. In this way the project can also become a community and social bridging concept. The technology proposed – deploying organic material cultivated on the site to produce concrete – appears both inexpensive and technically feasible. During the relatively-lengthy development period it will become an attraction that will occupy a distinct position in the mental map of Groningen’s inhabitants. Thanks to its apt interpretation, simplicity and originality, this entry is the undisputed winner.
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