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Ecosistema Urbano prequalifies for a planning competition in Kiruna, Sweden

Category: ⚐ EN+competitions+ecosistema urbano+news+urbanism

Ecosistema Urbano has, together with the Norwegian architecture office 70°N arkitektur, the Danish landscape studio Kristine Jensen, the Swedish lighting firm Ljusarkitektur and Atkins engineers, been prequalified for the planning competition in Kiruna, Sweden.

Kiruna kommune has shortlisted 10 international teams —out of 56 that were applying— for the next phase of the competition.

Kiruna Center from the southwest, with the LKAB facilities in the foreground

It’s an unusual, but very interesting challenge the Municipality of Kiruna is facing after more than a century of mining by the LKAB company. The ground is becoming unstable as some of the main tunnels are localised right underneath the city, so the city centre and all other areas affected will have to be relocated. In a time frame of approximately 20 to 25 years, some 400,000 sq. m. of housing and non-housing development will need to be replaced within the forecasting line of LKAB’s next main level, 1,365 metres below ground.

Map of Kiruna

The aim for the competition is to create a sustainable, distinctive and pleasant urban environment, a city centre linking together surrounding housing and industrial areas with the whole city and constituting the natural hub of the new Kiruna. This is an opportunity for creating something completely new, emanating from Kiruna’s unique history, to accommodate future needs and the desire for good living in an Arctic climate.

Kiruna, view of the city centre

We are very excited to start working with the other firms in our team in this competition, and we look forward to develop the future Kiruna during autumn 2012.

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Ecosistema Urbano lecture in Tromsø

Category: ⚐ EN+ecosistema urbano+events+news

Ecosistema Urbano will lecture next Thursday in Tromsø, a city located 1.643 km north from Oslo. The lecture is hosted by the North Norwegian Architects Association and will take place at Drivloftet, starting at 8.30 pm on Thursday,  14th.

I will present Ecosistema Urbano latest works, including dreamhamar, the project we are currently developing for the main public space of Hamar, Norway.

Tromsø in the North

By the way, this is the further north I have ever been to… I guess their summer is different from ours.

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dreamhamar at Re-Architecture exhibition | Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Paris

Category: ⚐ EN+news

The Pavillon de l’Arsenal has invited fifteen European agencies —including Ecosistema Urbano— that question the way that modern-day cities are built to participate in an exhibition that will be opening this wednesday in Paris under the motto “RE-cycle, RE-use, RE-invest, RE-build”.


We are very glad to be there among such a great selection of agencies and collectives (some of them featured in our recent series about placemaking) that share the same interests and explore similar approaches while working in quite different contexts.

Our contribution to the exhibition will be focused on dreamhamar, our most recent participatory project in Hamar (Norway), in which we have applied our ideas about network design.



A quote from the exhibition follows:

In Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, London, Madrid, Paris or Rotterdam,… these extraordinary teams have taken up a critical stance. They admit to exploring the role of architecture in societal changes. They are pro-action and produce and often even build their projects themselves. The practices are promises which revive long-forgotten utopian ideals.
They all invent wonderful standards and approach the complexities of modern life with the ability to transform into reality the potential that lies at the crossroads between experience and the built-up world. They are pragmatic, good at conveying their message and tend to work with the existing residents and for the inhabitants of the future.
The thirty exhibited proposals, shown at the various stages of development, describe the conditions in which the orders were placed, the study behind the projects, participative action as well as the conditions in which studies were carried out and the projects completed. Each proposal is thus presented through videos, drawings, interviews, plans and photographs to provide the public with an idea of the innovative and experimental nature of their research. Whether temporary or permanent, these projects are perfectly in line with the times and do not create extra constraints which could limit future choices.

We highly recommend you to visit the exhibition if you can, and to have a closer look at the work of the rest of the participants:

AAA – Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée (Paris), Andrés Jaque Architects (Madrid), Assemble (London), Bruit du frigo (Bordeaux), Collectif Etc (France), Coloco (Paris), DUS Architects (Amsterdam), Exyzt (Paris), MUF architecture/art (London), Practice Architecture (London), Raumlabor (Berlin), Rotor (Brussels), ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] (Rotterdam), 1024 architecture (Paris)

Pavillon Arsenal

More info: official website
Place: Pavillon de l’Arsenal
Open: Tue-Sat 10.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m | Sun 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Entrance: Free, 12th april – 2th september 2012

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dreamhamar | NLA lecture day 2012 in Gjøvik

Category: ⚐ EN+news

Next week Belinda will be sharing our experience around the dreamhamar project at a lecture day in Gjøvik organized by the Norwegian Landscape Architects Association and entitled “Nytt djervt frekt”, which means something like “New bold persistent” in english. Three keywords that describe a certain approach to landscape architecture and urbanism.

There will be two lectures on Friday 23 about dreamhamar:

11:50 – DreamHamar!
By city manager Kari Nilssen and city architect Geir Cock, from the Municipality of Hamar
Main square in Hamar: What happens when a foreign group works with ideas of local citizens? Why is everyone inside the process positive and those who are outside of it, critical?

12:20 – DreamHamar and Ecosistema Urbano
By architect Belinda Tato
How does the bold Spanish company Ecosistema Urbano work?

NLA fagdag 2012 – Program

We hope to meet you there!

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What if…? Manama | Workshop at Bahrein

Category: ⚐ EN+eu:calls+news+talleres

Next Thursday 23 two of us will be flying to Manama (Al Manāmah, Bahrein)  for a workshop, in the context of the Open Ideas Competition Bab Al Bahrain.

Sattelite view of the site

The workshop, which is open to both architecture students and general public, will take place around Bab al Bahrain (Gateway of Bahrain) on Friday 24 and Saturday 25. During these two days we will try to approach and visualize the identity of the city from the point of view of the citizens, with the aid of the whatif web and mobile application [Edit 2015: now called local in]. We are looking forward to meet you there!

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Learn for Life | book by Gestalten

Category: news+publications

Gestalten has recently published Learn for life, a book about new spaces for new learning —not just in kindergartens, schools, and universities. It features, among other examples, our project Plaza Ecópolis.

Learn for life

Learn for Life is a diverse collection of inspiring architecture and interiors that support progressive models of acquiring knowledge. New interpretations of kindergartens, schools, universities, and libraries are featured along with architecturally innovative offices and conference rooms. These examples are rounded out by more experimental projects that offer further perspectives on the rapidly evolving topic of how best to learn in the new millennium.

The groundbreaking spaces promote learning by inspiring us, providing us with helpful tools, and facilitating opportunities for productive cooperation and the exchange of ideas within groups. In short, the work makes clear that the creative use of architecture and interior design not only provides a new physical framework for acquiring knowledge, but also revitalizes and advances the process of learning as a whole.

You can learn more about it here: Learn for life | gestalten

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EU lectures | Oslo & Copenhagen

Category: ⚐ EN+news

Next week we will be giving a lecture in Oslo and Copenhagen about our work, including the latest projects like dreamhamar.


Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture


Oslo | 15.02.2012 | 19:00 h | learn more

Organizer: Architects Association of Oslo
Host: Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture


Living Copenhaguen


Copenhagen | 17.02.2012 | 19:00 h | learn more

Organizer: Living Copenhagen project
Host: PB43 / The Tower

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ecosistema urbano winner of experimental education center for Reggio Children Foundation

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+competitions+ecosistema urbano+news+sustainability

experimental education center for Reggio Children Foundation

Last June, we shared in our blog we had been invited to participate in the competition for the design of an experimental center for early childhood education in Reggio Emilia (Italy).

The Reggio Children Foundation is a network of public schools for kids between birth and 11 years old in Reggio Emilia, a city where one third of the public budget is invested in education. During these months we have been working to develop the proposal, a laboratory-school where a new approach to children’s education is experimented, trying to make a proposal that would enhance the spirit of Reggio Children Foundation, their working method and philosophy, at the same time that addressing issues such as energy efficiency, sustainability, participation, etc.

It was very exciting to get a deeper knowledge of the “Reggio approach” and its learning methods, and experiment with the educational role of the spacial and urban space context. The Reggio Approach is an educational philosophy based on the image of the child, and of human beings, as possessing strong potentials for development and as a subject of rights who learns and grows in his relationships with others.

It is an honor for us to know that we have been winners of the competition, competing with extraordinary teams across Europe. The Reggio Children Foundation philosophy dovetails nicely with our own and we see the development of the proposal and the materialization of the solutions as a challenge we are willing to face.

Congratulations, Ecosistema!

experimental education center for Reggio Children Foundationexperimental education center for Reggio Children Foundation

We share an excerpt from the considerations of the jury:

“The proposed solution is the best suited to represent the new school concept, making the new building a new collective experiment. The building itself becomes an opportunity for comparison, on issues of sustainability and eco-backwards compatibility, making the children themselves active participants. The construction techniques proposed include a development which can be implemented over time, according to needs for teaching-learning related to the school’s teaching plan, which makes the construction of the building itself a community project, seen as a process rather than a point of arrival”.

experimental education center for Reggio Children Foundation

experimental education center for Reggio Children Foundation

Experimental education center for Reggio Children Foundation