Europan 4

Transformation 2 post war high rise apartment blocks & surrounding grounds, Liverpool, UK
Public housing
1st prize competition: Europan UK, Londen, UK
1995 – 1996
Client: Liverpool Housing Action Trust, Liverpool, VK
1996 – 2001

One of the first projects of HvdH was the winning entry for the Europan 4 competition under the theme Constructing the Town upon the Town, Transformation of Contemporary Urban Sites. Requested was a vision on the renewal of a high rise estate from the 1950s-60s in the Fazakerley district of Liverpool [GB].

An integrated renewal of the landscape was proposed, supplemented by a renovation of the structures, the improvement of the thermal performance of the facades and the addition of new balconies and access decks, making each floor wheelchair accessible. The apartments could be improved on an individual basis without any need for decanting the residents. Various alternatives have been developed in dialogue with a resident’s panel up to the planning application. After that the projects was cancelled.

Europan jury member, critic Irénée Scalbert, wrote: ‘The approach is pragmatic and professional, which is not to reject aesthetics. The architects explain their approach as one which consists in accepting and evaluating individual needs, and in heightening existing facilities. But they are certainly not minimalists who -absorbed with subliminal aspects of everyday experience- often ignore what is merely ordinary. Pieces of furniture are for once allowed to appear on the plans of the dwellings. The mundane and exceptional, the small and the large, the new and the existing are all recognized and are ascribed the same value. Every aspect of the given situation is embraced with the same forthright, even-handed attitude.’

Read website Trouw (Dutch only)

Photography: Anne Bousema, Rotterdam