FOJAB staff win international awards

The competition entry "In-Between Landscapes" has been awarded a prize in the international architectural competition Europan 12. Behind the proposal are Marco Pusterla and Edvin Bylander, both employees of FOJAB arkitekter. The team also included architecture students Madeleine Heckler, René Andersson and Emelie Dafgård.

The entry was awarded a shared 2nd prize, which in the context of Europan is referred to as 'Runner-up'. It was one of some 50 proposals submitted to the Kalmar competition area, where the task was to design a new district on the coast, south of the city.

 is the largest recurring architectural competition in the world. Architects under the age of 40 from all over Europe participate and the competition is held every two years, now for the 12th time. Participants could choose from 51 competition areas - sites - in 16 countries, including five in Sweden.

- When we decided to participate in the competition, we went through the different sites carefully to see which one we found most interesting. We settled on the one in Kalmar because we thought the potential and challenges were particularly high. The area is located between the current E22 and consists of wetlands that are often flooded. We wanted to highlight the qualities of this special place," says team leader Marco Pusterla.

Kalmar is growing southwards and the task was to design a new district for about 3000 inhabitants. A starting point was the municipality's principle decision that all neighborhoods should be integrated with different types of housing and services.

The team's answer to this is a neighborhood with an urban character and a strong relationship with nature. The wetland located between the residential areas and the current waterfront could easily become a border separating the city from the sea. The proposal instead makes it accessible and clear. The special nature becomes a zone that can be temporarily occupied by different arrangements for art, culture, recreation and outdoor life.

- 'We meet nature through culture,' says Edvin Bylander, Marco's competition partner. 'By adding various simple built elements such as footbridges, platforms and pavilions, we make the changeability of the site visible. In a hundred years, the sea level will have risen to another level. Then the housing we have added will be right next to a quayside, and this zone will be just a memory.

This is not the first time FOJAB employees have been rewarded in the Europan context. Four years ago, Marco Pusterla won first prize in Europan 10 in Lerum together with Jesus Mateo. In Europan 11, Anders Eriksson in a team with architecture students Egil Blom, Hannes Haak and Daniel Lindberg shared first prize in Simrishamn. The project in Lerum has, so far, led to a quality program developed by Lerum municipality together with FOJAB architects.

- Europan is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and your creativity. The competition is based on a concrete project, but it also contributes to the debate on architecture at an international level. It is very interesting to look back at past European competitions. Much of what we see in today's architecture is reminiscent of the competition proposals of 10-15 years ago," says Marco Pusterla.