One house, two trees

With Fribourg seeking to provide itself with a greater variation in housing and richer cultural infrastructure, it is looking to find ways to develop this site overlooking the old town center. The intention is to find a way to use this parcel of land as a link between the old town and surround neighbourhoods, whilst giving room for a flexible, adaptive development. With the exception of existing buildings, vegetation, infrastructure and the protected zone alongside the old city walls, we propose to redefine the site as an orchard. By creating this new layer, the current property lines are visually disrupted and the site as a whole receives a new visual identity.
A 6x12m grid is then superimposed upon; creating cells which apple trees (with a max. diameter of 5m) are to be planted in. Areas suitable for building are then identified and a number of development footprints are arbitrarily placed within them. The density of these footprints is one house for every two trees. The tree closest to any one footprint is then removed, creating a greater variation in vegetation density. As our proposal shows a potential urban development within this orchard; a partial/halted development will only cause a variation of the spatial qualities within it.

Project 

Urban plan

Location 

Fribourg, Switzerland

Year 

2003

Comission 

Europan 7, Competition for Young Architects

Client 

Europan

Status 

Honorable mention

Architects 

Magnus Wåge, Maria Mestres, Romina Barbieri, Teresa Artola