International Competition Project
Europan 10
Nyon (CH)
Les Plantaz site presents extraordinary conditions to experiment new way of organizing the urban fabric working on the interaction between nature and the city. Ecological reasons may join urbanism. The opportunity of working with three existing ecosystems of spontaneous vegetation offers an exceptional event to improve natural environment and to foster sustainable urban development.


Team: Arch. Andrea De Matteis, Arch. Federico Zanfi
Collaborators: Eng. Filippo Losi, Arch. Francesca Maria Tatarella, Arch. Rosalba Giannoccaro, Valentina Pelligrò, Roberta Rinaldi, Paola Sarcoli

Second Prize Winner


The 4th eco-system project focuses on an idea of co-evolution, not only coexistence, between natural systems and urban fabrics.
The need for reinforcing housing presence, implementing the density and enhancing social life becomes a challenge in a completely new direction: producing a new urban environment.
The ecological dynamics of the three existing ecosystems provide the background for the urbanization: the spontaneous propagation of pioneer plants is assumed as a preliminary “urbanizing” tool. An articulated ground pattern is realized as a wide public ground: a place of high permeability for people movements where natural elements evolve together with built ones.

 - View in public park Mangette


The project aims to overtake the conventional planning attitude, often polarized between strong imposition on specific local conditions and urban design as an only matter of forms. The landscape appears as a much more relevant field of operation for contemporary urban development, in order to define mutual relations between human life organization and natural conditions.
A new approach to planning and urban design culture is experimented: a radical thought, to use site specificity as a key element to imagine future landscapes – avoiding mainstream pre-established transformation figures -, but not radical physical transformation of places. No revolutions are investigated, but leaps forward from the small “seeds” still growing at Le Plantaz.

- Axonometric view


Site Surface: 41.200 sqm
Total gross floor area: 11.600 sqm
Floor area ratio: 28%

Housing: 7.200 sqm (62%)
Public services and collective activities: 4.400 sqm (38%)

New buildings: 8.200 smq (70%)
Reuse of existing buildings: 3.400 sqm (30%)


- Site views

The 4th eco-system project works on an idea for future urban development starting from the coexistence of natural systems and the capacity of an innovative urban tissue to produce urbanity in deep involvement with delicate natural dynamics. This, in order to compact the urban tissue and to reduce the soil consumption.
The final outcome will be a fragment of city of multiple organization: a wide open space will accept a dense pattern of small elements; a dense cluster of big buildings will define a more urban open space able to accept some fragments of natural conditions.
On the Les PLantaz site three elements are crucial:
1. The Ecological Relations based on the three ecosystems and on the power of spontaneous ruderal vegetation to colonize territory. The idea is to make conditions for natural spontaneous evolving of vegetations through the whole site.
2. The Urban Layout, focusing on the general strategy and the system of actions, tactics and goals set to gain it.
3. The Ground Articulation as a place of high permeability of fluxes between private and public spaces, reinforcing the intermediate status.

- View from the station Shelter to the bistrot


Ecological vocation

The project responds to the ecological vocation of the site deliberately developing the two independent existing vegetation systems: the riparian and the ruderal one.
The main characteristic of these two natural systems is that they are all self-growing and self developing: the riparian vegetation needs water to grow by and the ruderal vegetation needs not-cultivated fields, or waste and neglected lands.
The ruderal vegetation grows all along the railways of Les Plantaz and contaminates abandoned fields generating peculiar landscapes and spontaneous gardens. The riparian system develops along different small rivers, following their ways and occupying the land nearby.

- Pioneer plants propagation, the spontaneous growth of the existing riparian and ruderal vegetation

The first step is to complete the riparian system, reconnecting it to the existing arm, by collecting in a canal the water that comes from the fields above the park of the Reposoir. The second step is to allow ruderal vegetation to expand from the railways edges into the area colonizing new spaces.
The ruderal vegetation will soon invade the site creating new transversal connections across the site moving from the railways towards the riparian system.
A new urban field can evolve accommodating spots of new settlements. A new model of urban development is provided: among the lines of vegetation the city could grow again realizing a new eco-system.

- General plan


Urban strategy

1) The present situation
Some stable systems emerge: the single family houses at the edge of the site; the 2 plots of waste land covered by ruderal vegetation; the Parc Public Mangette with the Crèche Centre Croquelune; the kitchen gardens; the Maison des Enfants.

2) Preliminary actions
The single family houses at the edge of the site are preserved. The remaining area is freed from the existing plots layout: the boundaries are removed and the site is opened to a new organization.

3) Green tactic
The existing interrupted ecological path on the left of the site is improved continuing towards north: it has to be preserved through the Reposoir Park and the Petit Prairie Project to reach the agricultural fields north in the back. The spontaneous ruderal vegetation among the railway line is left to develop in specific enlarged areas. The ruderal agricultural vegetation, located in specific plots, is left free to move all around the site also.

4) Urban goal 1
The existing NStCM abandoned depot-workshop building and the former Roads Department building will create a dense core in the centre of the site. They can accommodate relevant public activities able to offer cultural services and working opportunities: they can work as magnets of attraction from far away the district.

5) Urban goal 2
The edges of the site call for specific solutions answering to different conditions: the single-family houses tissue in the north side of the site needs to be protected from the public life of the new district; at the opposite, the heart of the site has to be gathered in itself, left aside from the north-south Chemin de Bourgogne street.

6) Urban goal 3
In order to improve the public life in the heart of the site, the existing system of the Kitchen Garden, the Parc Public Mangette with the schools inside and the Maison des Enfants can be used as different kinds of lively element for the public life. Their activities have to be enhanced as starting point of a new collective appropriation of the site.

- View from the elders social centre garden to the Les Plantaz Station


Local Actions

1) Natural Background
The 3 ecosystems, the riparian one and the 2 ruderals, the agricultural and the one growing along the railway line, will occupy the whole site realizing their own world opened to public fruition. The ground involved in this natural process works as a trigger device: the nature starting from it will invest the whole site with seeds, butterflies and any other ecological element.
Main paths are set in coated screed to allow people to go all around in the site. Together with these principal paths, a pavement made by wood staves goes all over the area. This system allows people to cross the site every where preserving vegetation to grow and to move also

2) Public Core Intersected podiums
The central area defined by the NStCM depot-workshop building and the former Roads Department building, together with the small NStCM depot nearby, will become a central public system of massive use, providing working and cultural public activities.
The NStCM depot-workshop building will accommodate a Working Hub (open work space with tables and web connection, meeting rooms, private rooms and small bistrot), the Roads Department building an Atelier providing spaces of work for artists and craftsmen, and collective services. A small bike service outside the Atelier will face the new Le Plantaz Station, realized as a long light linear shelter intercepting the interchange bike parking.
The open spaces between the buildings will create a outstanding system of public life, accepting small temporary parking lots too and reinforcing the main public railway passage.

3) Housing Detached Islands
In the middle of the central public system an especial housing building will emerge creating a landmark for the special development of the Le Plantaz site: the Temporary Flats 8floor small tower. It will accommodate at the different levels: collective rooms as hostel for young tourists, single and double rooms with collective services for temporary workers, a series of small flats for singles or small families living in Nyon for some months or few years, as employes in the companies of the metropolitan area of the Vaud Canton. Its exceptionality will be underlined by the continuous trans-lucid skin, able to lighten at night and accommodate temporary public signals (for temporary events communications, as Paléo Festival and Nyon International Documentary Film Festival).
The other housing buildings will be set facing the north-south Chemin de Bourgogne street at the right edge of the project area and at the north-west side of it, towards the existing single-family houses tissue. Along the Chemin de Bourgogne street there will be collective housing buildings, for different kinds of flats: some 1 room, many 2 or 3 rooms apartments, duplex and few big flats for bigger families. They will create an edge from the main road to ensure protection to the inner spaces.
At the opposite, the blocks facing the existing single-family houses tissue will renovate that typologies with more density. Organized as compact linear buildings of attached double level single houses with terraces, personal greenhouses on roof and 2 different small gardens, they will reduce the private gardens maintaining freedom, privacy and private parking lots.

4) Leisure and Culture Molecular System
A series of small buildings will realize a recognizable public activities network in the park devoted to collective social living for different ages.
All the buildings will be set inside a closed field, defined with hedgerows, that will provide private open space for outside activities. At the same time the buildings facing each-other in the green central area will force social relations in the public open space.
New small buildings are settle down together with the still existing ones. The actual Maison des Enfants is preserved and maintained in activity. The Crèche Centre Croquelune will continue its function, gaining its own outside life area in the Mangette Public Park. A new system of Nusery and pré-maternelle class will be set also. Growing in age, a social centre for young people will be realized on the Avenue des Eules and an elder centre will be set in the heart of the site. The system of these molecular activities ends with a bistrot/bar with a greenhouse which is set in the isolated plot in the cross roads at the south edge of the site working as a welcome area from the city centre to the new Le Plantaz District.

5) Small scattered activities
A pattern of scattered activities is set all around the natural background that grows spontaneously all over the area: they will use the small existing rural buildings and a new 5x5m flexible modular system to accommodate different new activities (district association, local market, restroom, re-use room, kitchen club, medical centre, small stores, volunteers social house, libraries, internet points, temporary cells). The pattern of the whole scattered activities could reinforce the collective public life in the district, as services for the local inhabitants and for foreigners tourists and workers also.

- General layout

- Ground level plan

- View between the public farm and the high density single family house



International Competition Project
YAC – Young Architects Competitions
Roccascalegna, Chieti (IT)
The project for an Observatory House for tourists on the hillside of Roccascalegna, focuses on the potential of a new interior landscape and a gorgeous experience of observing the sky. A series of monoliths appears on the side of the hill, as ancestral symbols of connection with the cosmos. The spaces of the houses are all buried into the ground; the vertical volume of the monolith appears on top as an alien object landed on the hill.



Competition Project
Paderno Dugnano, Milano (IT)
Il progetto propone una nuova urbanità rurale nell’area ex-Breter. Viene proposto un nuovo modello insediativo di case basse, dense e minute, aggregate a isole, che gravitano attorno ad uno spazio aperto pubblico completamente permeabile e orientato alla produzione agricola. Oggetto di interesse è un nuovo equilibrio tra urbanità e ruralità, una nuova ecologia urbana.



International Seminar
Politecnico di Milano
Milano (IT)
The Meetings are born for the Urban Design Course in the Master of Science in Urban Planning and Policy Design at the Politecnico di Milano - School of Architecture and Society, and organized by Andrea De Matteis. In the Meetings are collected: Case Studies, Lectures, Forums, Focus, Workshops.
In this appointment the office Arup with the architect Stefano Recalcati will give a LECTURE about “Sustainable masterplanning in the new emerging countries”.


International Competition Project
Europan 12
Nürnberg (DE)
The replacement of a former closed housing block  with a new opened block realizes a brand new urban space for the city. The outstanding open block offers the opportunity to give to the housing building a new civic role for the entire neighborhood: the compactness and the clearness of the volume highlights its presence, while its openings and passages inside let the citizens live the ground floor and the courtyard for collective activities.



International Seminar
Politecnico di Milano
Milano (IT)
The Meetings are born for the Urban Design Course in the Master of Science in Urban Planning and Policy Design at the Politecnico di Milano - School of Architecture and Society, and organized by Andrea De Matteis. In the Meetings are collected: Case Studies, Lectures, Forums, Focus, Workshops.
In this second Meeting, Francesca Tatarella and the milanese landscape office Atelier delle Verdure will FOCUS on “The design of the open spaces in the contemporary city “.


International Seminar
Politecnico di Milano
Milano (IT)
The Meetings are born for the Urban Design Course in the Master of Science in Urban Planning and Policy Design at the Politecnico di Milano - School of Architecture and Society, and organized by Andrea De Matteis. In the Meetings are collected: Case Studies, Lectures, Forums, Focus, Workshops.
In this first Meeting on a CASE STUDY, the architect Massimo Bertolano (Erick van Egeraat former associate) will present the Milanofiori project.


Competition project
Confindustria di Bergamo
Albino, Bergamo (IT)
Oggi la riqualificazione dell’area di Albino può proporre un elemento in più. Se da una parte le logiche dello sviluppo immobiliare sono tema imprescindibile per la fattibilità economico-finanziaria di trasformazioni così ampie e complesse, come lo è del resto la riqualificazione ambientale di contesti fisici così eccezionali, dall’altra parte elemento determinante per la riqualificazione dell’area di Albino è la strategia di riuso industriale.


Competition Project
Comune di Ferrara
Ferrara (IT)
L’ampliamento della Cittadella del Commiato con l’inserimento della nuova sede obitoriale comunale permetterà di consolidare i servizi di onoranze funebri offerti ai cittadini e qualificherà uno dei recinti storici della città preservandone il carattere originario. Il Nuovo Obitorio Comunale potrà esserne il fulcro e al suo interno un nuovo recinto ne diverrà il cuore: la Camera Ardente si raccoglierà attorno ad un chiostro dove si celebrerà il commiato.



Competition Project
Comune di Cesena
Cesena (IT)
La via Emilia è oggi il tipico paesaggio urbano della strada di grande percorrenza. Riconvertire la strada ad un traffico locale offre l’opportunità di fare leva sulle condizioni di vita sociale e collettiva già presenti per ampliare all’intera sezione stradale e al suo intero sviluppo lineare quei caratteri di paesaggio urbano familiare e civico presente in numerosi episodi lungo la strada.


Competition Project
Comune di Castelleone
Castelleone, Cremona (IT)
Una casa per anziani di 8 alloggi si inserisce in un quartiere di altre comunita’ per anziani ai margini di una cittadina della pianura padana. Affacciato verso un piccolo corso d’acqua il nuovo edificio lavora sugli spazi intermedi costruendo nuove relazioni tra spazi privati e spazi collettivi e tra spazi aperti e spazi interni.




International Competition Project
Europan 11
Vienna (AT)
A new civic center will be created around a new stop of the S-Bahn railway line. A main linear building defines the central public area and a series of public passages, ramps, pathways, sport facilities, greenhouses and community gardens create a collective field of cooperation between the three different sites involved in the redevelopment.


International Competition Manifesto
Venice City Vision
Venice (IT)
Fakeness is today an highly diffused procedure to re-invent things, re-creating them better then before in new phantom images. And that is Fake Venice: a place in which some conditions never realized before are forced to develop in the city.
Fake Venice is a reflection on fakeness and the future of a city. It reflects on the “potential being”: it focuses on one of the potential Venice that have not been realized.


Competition Closing Event
Europan Europe
Neuchatel (CH)
The Forum of the 10th session of the european competition Europan took place in the University of Neuchatel. The Forum began with the Swiss Awards Ceremony: the office has been awarded of the II Prize for the project THE 4TH ECO-SYSTEM. Afterwards, some working groups have been organised around specific topics to discuss with the local administration representatives the relevance of the winning ideas.


International Competition Project
Europan 10
Nyon (CH)
Les Plantaz site presents extraordinary conditions to experiment new way of organizing the urban fabric working on the interaction between nature and the city. Ecological reasons may join urbanism. The opportunity of working with three existing ecosystems of spontaneous vegetation offers an exceptional event to improve natural environment and to foster sustainable urban development.


Competition Project
Comune di Cavriglia
Cavriglia, Arezzo (IT)
Ecoscape propone un’idea nuova di parco declinando insieme ecologia, leisure ed energia. Il tentativo è quello di immettere nel sistema dei flussi turistici che investe la Toscana un elemento nuovo, al momento estraneo e non presente nella gamma di offerta. L’obiettivo è duplice: riqualificare in chiave ecologico – naturalistica un’area di sfruttamento minerario ed immettere Cavriglia nella rete di relazioni globali legate al turismo.



International Competition Project
Europan 10
Dessau (DE)
The 4th ecology is a programmatic strategy for the city of Dessau, developed inside the three existing ecologies and proposing a pragmatic alternative to the complete replacement of the abandoned urban clusters. It proposes punctual reforms for core and border areas by adopting parasites, incision and infilling operation. It intensifies the spatial relation between the streets, the buildings and the internal courts.


Competition Project
Comune di Teramo
Teramo (IT)
Il progetto per il nuovo sistema di spazi pubblici del centro storico di Teramo si propone come un piccolo manifesto per l’incoraggiamento della vita collettiva in città. Si tratta di costruire dentro al sistema di relazioni preesistenti una serie di dispositivi fisici che incentivino la socialità e contribuiscano a rinnovare una dimensione collettiva attorno ad alcune sue condizioni rilevanti – scienza, natura, cultura.


Competition Closing Event
Europan Norway
 Oslo (NO)
In the DOGA, the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture in Oslo, it took place the Prize Ceremony of the winning projects for the norwegian sites of Europan 9. In the Ceremony the office has been awarded of the Honorable Mention for the project LAB-CITY. During the meeting we presented the project and we discussed it with the other teams and the local representatives.


International Competition Project
Europan 9
Lillestrøm (NO)
The project for a public space in the civic centre of Lillestrøm is a concrete solution to a local problem – the need for a recognizable meeting place – and, at the same time, it works as a small manifesto: the Stortorvet Square is intended as an environmental public deck populated by many dispositifs able to react with the local conditions at the environmental, economical, urban and social levels.


Competition Project
ATER Matera
Matera (IT)
Cinque nuovi piccoli edifici si inseriscono nella serie di nuovi brani edificati che nel tempo si sono realizzate sull’impianto iniziale del Borgo La Martella. Rispetto alle recenti espansioni di case a schiera il progetto propone una sequenza di piccole case unifamiliari isolate ma affiancate. Con un ritmo serrato i blocchi cercano di declinare la condizione sub-urbana del villaggio verso un’atmosfera più urbana.


Competition Project
Società Etruria Immobili srl
Grosseto (IT)
In un quartiere misto produttivo/residenziale un nuovo blocco abitativo sostituisce un capannone industriale. Il progetto propone un modello ibrido: definisce una massa compatta e una scala complessiva dell’edificio simile ai blocchi industriali ma garantisce una elevata qualità abitativa grazie ai patii e all’articolato sistema di distribuzione. Immesso in un quartiere misto il nuovo edifico cerca in sé stesso affacci e spazi collettivi di socialità.