BIKE BASE Trimo Urban Crash Competition
Ljubljana is becoming an increasingly cycling-friendly city and new cycling-infrastructure is needed to facilitate this process. As the number of cyclists in Ljubljana (and elsewhere) is growing, the need for cyclist-friendly stops and small repair stations grows along with it. New infrastructure can make more people use bicycles and help to keep them in their saddles. Because of that the 4th international Urban Crash competition, an international competition for students of architecture and industrial design hosted by the company Trimo, was focussing on cycling and sustainability issues.
The Bike Base in Ljubljana would be dedicated to cyclists who will use it to do small repairs, enjoy a coffee, browse the Internet and their e-mails via WI-FI, freshen up with a cold drink, top off their tire pressure or charge a battery for their electric bicycle – or just chat with others in a friendly, urban setting.
The Bike Base is expected to serve as a substantial contribution to all socially- and environmentally-aware citizens, cyclists, activists and bike-friendly people everywhere. Principles of sustainability will be applied and employed in the design, realisation and operation of the Bike Base, which is envisaged to be as self-sufficient as possible. As a highly practical solution, a modular architecture scheme is to be applied.
As a central project partner, the city municipality allocated a central location, as busy as it is attractive, for the Bike Base at the junction of the city’s internal ring and the northern gateway Dunajska cesta. (It’s more than an interesting coincidence that Dunajska cesta means “Vienna Road” in Slovene.). Click the image below to see the location dedicated for the Bike Base.
On 28 March, the organisers announced the winners of the Trimo Urban Crash 2013 competition. The overall winners are Manus Leung from the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales (Australia) and Kacper Krywult from the Faculty of Architecture at Warsaw University of Technology (Poland). Their project with the competition entry name SHIFT received the highest number of points based on the combined decision of the expert jury together with the public vote (at www.trimo-urbancrash.com) for their Bike Base concept. The jury commented on the project, “Somewhat self-orientated and dislocated, the so-called ‘country house’ inside a city brings an awareness of city greenery to the table. It does not act as a ‘quick stop’ but invites you inside to stop and relax and feel like being in a hamlet in what is a highly urbanised area. The project has also the attractive potential of revitalising the park area. The offshore park has the potential to acquire extreme popularity.”
The winners also responded to the competition demand to make the project a simple, yet sophisticated design that would allow the methodology to be incorporated into various bicycle-friendly cities all over the world with only minimal adjustment.
This solution still allows the building to maintain its primary concept as well as a direct relationship to its surrounding context, making it site-specific and unique in every situation. The shipping container construction makes it easy to set up, disassemble and replace. As a result, it embodies the idea of a universal building with a touch of local context.
The story of Manus and Kacper is interesting for itself, as they became friends two years ago during their time as exchange students in Stockholm (Sweden). Manus decided as early as in 2011 to participate in Trimo Urban Crash 2013. He invited his friend Kacper to team up, and with the help of the Internet technology – Skype and e-mail – they managed to win the competition while being at a distance of 10,000 miles from each other.
Second place & jury winner
The overall second place went to the winner of the jury vote, a combined group of German and Spanish students: Jorge Lopez Sacristan, Christina Codjambopoulo, Beatriz Gomez Martin and Sara Rebollo from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, with their mentor Professor Eva-Maria Pape. Their project with the competition entry name JCSB0 was awarded the highest number of points by the expert jury, who comment on the project, “.. the facility solves and interconnects two entities: a public and a private space. The project is not self- or auto-oriented and, idea-wise, adds much more to the location than it takes away. In a site that does not yet display a particular urban quality, a fluid yet optimistic project can provide a very significant social contribution. This very intelligent project does not need an extensive amount of investment to be realised.”
Third place & public vote winner
The public vote winner and third overall place goes to a group of students: Ignacio Chavero García, Roberto Baños Pantoja and Alvaro Borrego Plata from ETSA Seville, Spain. Their project CG2BP received the highest number of votes in the public vote procedure.
Trimo Urban Crash 2013
Trimo Urban Crash 2013 started in 2012 with careful planning. In close co-operation with Ljubljana’s Vice Mayor, Professor Janez Koželj from Ljubljana University’s Faculty of Architecture, the team selected the location for the future Bike Base. Cycling subcultures and cyclists’ needs were explored and documented. The competition opened in October 2012 and concluded 10 February 2013. In early March, the international expert jury shortlisted 31 projects from a total of 220 projects submitted from 37 countries all over the world. As in all previous years, the Trimo Urban Crash competition jury was both international and interdisciplinary:
Adam Kalkin is an American artist, architect and specialist in container architecture; Professor Michael Stacey, RIBA, from the UK is a renowned authority on zero carbon architecture;
Professor Janez Koželj, Vice Mayor of Ljubljana, and Jure Kotnik, architect, a specialist in modular architecture, are both from Slovenia; Polish Wojtech Nowak was the 2011 Trimo Urban Crash winner; and Angela van der Kloof from the Netherlands and Janez Bertoncelj from Slovenia are both cycling and urban mobility specialists. The jury was rounded out with Trimo international team members: marketing director Maja Lapajne (Slovenia), designer Ron Fitch (UK) and architect Mitja Vovko (Slovenia).
Jury president Janez Koželj offered that “the jury witnessed a wide array of diverse approaches in the project submissions. Entrants pushed a host of technologies and construction techniques; they used different approaches, paying particular attention to industrial design, integration in the park setting, and the composition of modular units configured as towers, portals or pavilions”.
Adam Kalkin added, “The competition was fun. And the projects were fun. Often the world of architecture forgets about that essential quality. The jury was generous with each other and the projects. It was a delight to participate.”
Trimo Urban Crash and Cycling Visionaries Awards
Trimo Urban Crash and the Cycling Visionaries Awards share many values and goals: they both search for out-of-the-box thinking and offer space for young people to express their thoughts about the future and contribute ideas to evolve cycling cultures. This was the reason why the shortlisted authors from the Trimo Urban Crash competition were specially invited to submit their projects for the Cycling Visionaries Awards as well. Many of the projects were submitted in both competitions.
Trimo Urban Crash has been underway as a biennial competition since 2007. The competition organiser Trimo works closely with the municipal administration of the City of Ljubljana. The City of Ljubljana secures and allocates a specific public space, and Trimo challenges students of architecture and industrial design to conceive and design the new public installation. Individual undergraduate students as well as entire schools are invited to participate in the competition. Many schools include the competition in their curriculum as part of their seminar or project work.
The aim of the competition is to encourage aspiring designers of urban space towards a bolder, more ambitious approach to understanding architecture and its place in the larger urban environment. Furthermore, the competition supports and encourages co-operation between practice, theory and industry.
Three such installations have already been realised and remain operative in Ljubljana: one is an information point in the city’s Tivoli park; another is a public stage space in an alternative cultural quarter; and the third is a life stand injecting vitality into a local Ljubljana neighbourhood.
In addition to the City of Ljubljana, Trimo’s partners in the Urban Crash competition include the Imago marketing agency, which takes a central role in conceiving, planning and executing the competition; another partner for the 2013 Urban Crash competition is Akripol, a Slovenian company specialising in the processing of polymers and the production of cast acrylic sheets.
The competition is also supported by the Ljubljana Cycling Network NGO, which is valuable in providing a wealth of practical input and insights. Trimo Urban Crash competition is truly international, with hundreds of projects from more than 60 countries worldwide submitted.
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Borut Sočan, Trimo Urban Crash Team
Trimo Urban Crash Competition