The Superscape is awarded every two years to innovative and visionary architectural concepts. It focuses on the interaction of private living space with urban contexts, viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. Superscape 2020 was searching for innovative approaches for the topic MIXED-Use City. Living, Wokring and Urban Production.
The barriers between public and private space, between living and working, between digital and analogue are steadily disappearing. As we search for forward-looking, sustainable and people-oriented approaches to urban development the idea of “mixed-use” has huge potential. In this context, urban production and its increasing importance as a significant element of the diversified city plays a prominent role.
In the context of social and technical networking, ecological sustainability, smart cities and smart homes, the goal was to explore innovative potentials and problem solutions that architecture can offer, and to dare to imagine visionary future scenarios and design experiments in response to spatial and social challenges in the urban space in 2050.
In total, 153 concept sketches were submitted by participants from more than 31 nations. The jury members Claudia Nutz, Angelika Fitz and Andreas Rumpfhuber nominated six concepts for the shortlist, to be elaborated further over the summer. Out of these elaborations the jury chose the winning project «The Other Spaces» by Eva Herunter (Vienna,AT).
The architectural award carries a cash value of 10,000 Euro and was officially handed over during the Superscape award ceremony on September,28th in Vienna. The shortlist nominees received an allowance of 2,000 Euro to help defray their costs.
Superscape 2020 | winning project
The project takes up the discussion about production, conservation, transformation and decay in urban landscapes. The substance for the city of the future is found in those places where human interventions overlap with the momentum of non-human metabolic processes. The project questions the use of urban wastelands in the post-industrial city and appeals for these spaces – these vast, continuous areas that were previously exploited by the consumer economy – to be safeguarded for the city and, for the time being, left to their own devices.
The ‘urban wasteland’ is designated as the urban element of the future. For these wild, in-between spaces contain not only huge reserves of energy for ecological reproduction, but also social potential as the final free spaces in an ever denser and ever more rapidly regulated city.
It is precisely this absence of a clearly defined function that makes this urban wasteland so productive, open to appropriation and free for unforeseeable and unplannable uses. Hence, a strategy of non-planning, non-programming and non-organising should prevail in such places. Because it is this that makes space for the suppressed and often forgotten participants in the urban ecosystem: animals, bacteria and plants. If these abandoned areas are simply left to their own momentum, a new, active urban landscape will emerge. This could complete Vienna’s green belt and then widen it further by adding new, dynamic and diverse green spaces.
Eva Herunter (*1991) studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and EPFL Lausanne. She has professional experience in Graz, Vienna, Berlin and Hong Kong and currently lives and works in Vienna.
Superscape 2020 | Jury Statement
The project “Die anderen Räume” (The Other Spaces) by Eva Herunter grabs the attention with its simplicity and poetry, which approaches the subject of Superscape 2020, Mixed-Used City, in a provocatively “unproductive” manner. By taking up the aspect of the “third landscape” – in Vienna’s case, the areas of wasteland known as “Gstettn” – and locating these with the help of examples (in Siebenhirten/Inzersdorf, Erdberg/Lobau, Floridsdorf, etc.) the project successfully addresses an important issue for the city of tomorrow. It envisages the emergence, between now and 2050, of a large, continuous green space, a wild expanse of urban nature in areas formerly dominated by industry, infrastructure and commerce. The poetic dimension of the concept and the idea of taking an alternative look at “productive spaces” were positively evaluated by the jury.
As well as being vital to society, the safeguarding of the “urban wasteland” of the post-industrial city makes a key contribution to the coexistence of people, animals and plants in the city of the future. The description of spaces that have been forgotten by our performanceand service-oriented society is valuable and, in the context of the subject “Living. Working and urban production”, opens up possibilities for reinventing consumption and production. The concept was understood as an appeal for these “other spaces” to remain available for future, sustainable development. With her poetic plea for a new relationship between the city and nature, production and reproduction, and growth and sustainability, the prizewinner conveys a “positive potential for contagion”. The winning project of Superscape 2020 is characterised by vision and rigour at both the formal and systemic levels.
Superscape 2020 | Shortlist
Metamorphose: The Transformation of Suburbuia
Milla Koivulehto,Josef Steckermeier,Thomas Benedikt Spitzer, (DE / CH)
Andrea Bit,Maciej Wieczorkowski, Dividual office, Rotterdam (NL)
Comunal power plant
Klara Jörg, Wien (AUT)
Wiener Null: Vienna’s Terrestrial Zones
Lena Gössel,Philipp Ma,Natascha Peinsipp,Felix Steinhoff,
asphalt-kollektiv (AT / DE)
Mutualism in the city
Gary Yeow,Amy Peacock, ean Craig, Glasgow (UK)
The Award Process
Participation in Superscape 2020 takes place via a competition in two stages. The first phase of the architectural competition is an anonymous, open process. During the first application period, the participants, graduates in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning or design, are asked to submit short, concise concept sketches containing visionary ideas on the focus theme of Superscape 2020. After the expert jury nominated the shortlist, the participants were invited to elaborate on their concepts by the end of August 2020. During a second jury meeting, the winner of Superscape 2020 will be chosen; the winner will be announced in October 2020.
Motivation of the Organiser
Starting with this year’s edition of Superscape the prize is offered as a joint project by the private developers, JP Immobilien, and the nonprofit developers, WBV-GPA Wohnbauvereinigung für Privatangestellte. Both develop not only living spaces, but living environments. Therefore, they strive to support social, cultural and environment-related issues as part of their corporate responsibility. In their work they also address the changes in society that are accompanying digitalisation – such as the changes in how we live and work and where these activities take place – particularly in the context of this year’s subject of the mixed-use city. Since architecture and urban planning always also interfere with the social environment, it is important to make a lasting contribution to the tension-filled field of architecture, its protagonists, inhabitants and designers. Thus, Superscape mainly focuses on establishing a long-term workshop of ideas and providing visionary concepts that deliver impulses for today’s projects.
Superscape 2020 | Jury
Angelika Fitz has been director of the Az W Architekturzentrum Wien (Austria’s Architecture Museum) since 2017. The Az W shows, discusses and researches the ways in which architecture shapes the daily life of each one of us. Fitz has worked internationally as curator and cultural theorist since the late 1990s. Many of her curatorial projects are conceived as platforms for knowledge transfer and co-production. Recent exhibitions and publications include We-Traders. Swapping Cities for Crisis, Actopolis. The Art of Action, and with the Architekturzentrum Assemble. How to Build as well as Downtown Denise Scott Brown. Most recently Fitz worked with Elke Krasny on the exhibition and publication Critical Care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet co-published by Az W and MIT Press in 2019.
Claudia Nutz has worked on the development of large properties and urban quarters for 20 years. Her education and training has covered both the technical and economic fields. She has previously worked with the commercial developers BOE Bauobjekt Entwicklung, the consulting company immovement and the BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft. She contributed significantly to the development of Seestadt Aspern and to the property management activities of the ÖBB. She now works freelance through her own consultancy company “nutzeffekt”. She is involved in numerous urban development projects, particularly in Vienna but also across Austria and internationally (Ottakringer Brauerei, Seestadt Aspern, ÖBB station projects across Austria, Graz Reininghaus, Munich Freiham and Split City Port East, etc.). Her clients include owners of large properties, developers who jointly develop large sites and public institutions such as municipal authorities and development agencies.
Superscape 2020 | Jury
Dr Andreas Rumpfhuber is an architect and architectural theorist whose work focusses on new forms of working and living. He is the author of the books “Architektur immaterieller Arbeit” (Vienna: 2013), The Design of Scarcity (London-Moscow: 2014), Modelling Vienna Real Fictions in Social Housing (Vienna: 2015), Wunschmaschine Wohnanlage (Vienna: 2016) and Into the Great Wide Open (Barcelona: 2017) and of numerous texts published in, inter alia, The Guardian, E-Flux, AA Files, Harvard Design Magazine and Arch+. He has taught and lectured at institutions including the Architectural Association London, ETH Zürich, UdK Berlin and as a guest professor at the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design Kiel (spatial and design strategies), Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design and Vienna University of Technology (urban planning). He has been a certified ‘Ziviltechniker’ since 2015, since when he has been successful in several competitions and completed a number of projects. He recently won the developer competition “An der Schanze”, Vienna, 22.