Norrköping, Sweden
EUROPAN 11, runner-up

Rendering of the main public space

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The design in a low-density area, divided by the physical and mental barrier represented by the main road, tries to create a generative method of transformation.

The new “cellular urban development” based on factors as proximity, sustainability and relations aims to produce a certain degree of connectivity starting from the cell, basic unit of the process of regeneration.

The “space in between” cells generates a continuous deformation and mutation of the master plan, due to programmatic, morphologic and topographic issues, in order to achieve flexibility in ‘change of use’ within short and long time periods.

A new thick multifunctional soil associated with a generic and flexible network are the new urban “glue”, that enables the flexible use of spaces and gives the opportunity to adapt different typologies of buildings.


The site of the project is a wide area extended in the south part of the city, characterized by a heterogeneous urban and natural landscape: the ring road Söderleden to the north, the sprawl city with the hospital and the countryside to the south, the natural reserve Vrinneviskogen to the east and the modern housing of Vilbergen to the west.

The morphological structure of the tissue derived from modernist principles, is merged with the Anglo Saxon tradition of the “garden city”, and arises from the natural topography of the land.

These principles are visible in the nature of (open) spaces, in the road layout and in the displacement of the buildings on the territory.

The reading and interpretation of the context is made using a series of layers, which tries to draw attention to the specific characters of the area.
The system of built volumes, the displacement of green and public areas and the roads layout are now merged with a new network of relations, fluxes, connections, injected with new functions for the implementation of the area potentialities, at local and urban (city-region) scale.


A low density of buildings characterizes the area, resembling the common “sprawl vision” of spaces. The main road, Gamla Övägen, is perceived as a physical, social and mental barrier, overlapped on top of the old agricultural plots and detached from a more modern open-stretched tissue.

The design project takes into account all the highlighted issues and creates a generative process of transformation. The proposal aims to produce continuity among the modernist housing layout and the sprawl city fabric on the east part, the natural reserve, the hospital and the countryside on the west side.

The cell is the basic unit from which starts the process of regeneration. The entire matrix is built on principles based on the significance of factors as proximity, sustainability and connections, trying to establish strong bounds among different neighbourhoods playing with the balance of volumes and public spaces, the displacement of multi-function buildings and a good percentage of green areas. The “space in between” generates, moreover, a continuous deformations and mutation of the master plan due to programmatic reasons, morphologic and topographic issues, in order to achieve flexibility in change of use within short and long time periods.

A new thick multifunctional soil, a generic and flexible network, is the new urban “glue”, the component that gives a certain degree of stability, but enables the flexible use of spaces, and gives the opportunity to adapt different typologies of buildings.

The design, taking into account the recent urban and territorial policies, proposes a “cellular urban development” of an “elementary city”  that works for parts. The project gives specific outlines for the transformation, but enforces,  within certain margins of flexibility, the mutation of the site on long and short terms. A higher level of elasticity assures the economic sustainability of the transformation and encourages a programmatic approach based on different time phases for the development of the city periphery.

The project aims to offer a general input to the problem of regeneration of marginal peripheral areas in different European contexts, while considering undefined spaces a “place” where is possible to enable connections and continuity with natural and urban mutable landscapes.


1 – connection and cells
2 – network
3 – interstitial cellular space
4 – landscape
5 – local realm
6 – volumes

Masterplan in the context of existinf city fabrics>

(black – evolution of building typology from city center outwards in time)

Cconceptual section (crossing of Gamla Övägen highway) >


The master plan follows a cellular genetic principle, from one side each cell integrates a mixite’ of functions, (residential, retail, leisure, offices, social and health care…), while at the same time provides extendable intra-cellular public spaces to foster the gathering of people, while suggesting the ecological-social principles of a green community.

Landscape (meaning green areas and the new infra-structured thick soil) and several services for elderly and young people coexist within the same cell. When cells are built they need to create a degree of synergy within proximity. This means that a mixite’ of functions is produced, but taking into account the way different functions need to work at the city-urban scale.
Parts of a city have more specific attitudes to provide certain functions e.g. the hospital area needs nursery services, large parking spaces, fast infrastructures that connect this specific area to the city.
On the other side the natural reserve has to keep its own integrity and identity, so a soft intervention concerning walkways and cycling roots will be provided.

Masterplan_ground Level – Stream-space of connection>

THE MATRIX & THE NETWORK- a new sustainable development

The master plan designs its connections starting from the vision of a contemporary, but also innovative, way of living. Connections are not based on functions, but on a complex network, whether this is made of streets, infrastructures, buildings or simply Internet frameworks, relationships, social spontaneous movements. This is unpredictable, and cannot be controlled, so we believe in parameters of flexibility, mobility, interaction, synergy.

The network gives a form that is just one of the possible options.
Already within the same morphology different typologies can be placed. We can have towers, courtyards and so on.
To foster connections among cells is considered desirable, and it is urged to create public spaces of interactions in each single cell and with the existent neighbourhoods.
The principle of flexibility is shown when we can place different buildings within the same footprint and also when we consider the time parameter.

Cells can grow in space and in density, collecting different function following the changing needs of society. Schemes and example of those ideas are shown.
The master plan collects a series of possible option. The specific area close to the highway shows principles of connections, interactions and the coexistence of different typologies.
Towers (the so called “icebergs”), hybrid buildings, green houses, natural and artificial landscape, nonetheless public functions, heterogeneous spaces, tram lines, walkways, and culture activities find a common realm. This is a strong mark to show the entrance to the city, while recognising the importance of a coexistence of functions in our age, rather than segregation.

Cell identity  – Distribution of functions>

Sociotype map>


1 – summer time: screens and natural ventilation system
2 – winter time: solar accumulation -green house effect
3 – water recycling system : collecting-storing-reusing
4 – geotermic principle of function: use of the greenhouse and soil system collecting-storing-reusing
5 – daylight hours and percentage of rainy days
6 – new capabilities of usage of the public space within the same climate conditions

Complex approach is necessary when talking about sustainability.
Complex means a complete know how of the contemporary technology development, and a vision for the future.
In our design proposal we suggest several strategies, which need a further study in relevance with the local dimension.

An example of strategy is given by the reuse of water (i.e. the melting snow), which reflects a relevant climate condition of the site and is considered an important natural resource.
The snow is used to create public spaces (ice-skating areas and ways) and when it is melts the territory turns into a new waterscape (lakes and canals).
Water is collected in big tanks to have a constant reserve of it even in summertime.
Collecting water is directly provided on site, whether this is filtered through buildings or convoyed using the folding sloped landscape.

Several strategies try to implement the use of the sunlight:
During winter time “greenhouses” provide a comfortable and controlled environment, working as a public space to gather people, and at the same time are a natural space, where trees and plants can be grown by children and local people.
Public functions inside the “greenhouses” generate a constant flux of people and a strong synergy between nature, climate and social use of the space.
The “greenhouses” can be opened in summertime and a rich natural environment is achieved with the combination of landscape and architecture.
The complex ecological system of nature-landscape-architecture is realized on distinct layers at different scales, while each single cell can work bio-climatically in an autonomous way, it is generated in order to be integrated in a more complex system with others.


Norrköping, Sweden
EUROPAN 11, runner-up

- competition

140 ha Strategic site area

Roy Nash, René Dlesk, Debora Magri, Francesca Mazziotti,Design Architects

Vito Marco Marinaccio

Michele Morrone, Giorgia De Castron, Michal Bernart, Matteo PariniCollaboration

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