Resilience (w/ Marcello Tavone & Annabelle Blin)

We may not know yet what the post-oil city will or could be. We know that oil burns fast, and that the economies derived from it do likewise. Unavoidably what comes after has to be slow(er), prudent, reflected, waiting “for the good moment” to arrive.

While the response of architecture to the 1973 oil crisis was to mainly bury itself, this moment in time may require a radical reboot. If the city was the end-consumer of the burned resources, it now appears compelling that it may become the ultimate laboratory for testing alternatives.

But what if this response takes the form of abstinence?

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We tried to imagine a resilient project, taking the form of constant negotiation and (re)development. Forus itself is subject to the latter – indubitably the next decades will redefine its landscape, demography, infrastructure and usages. But how precisely?

While we can’t predict the future, we can still evaluate the ambitions trying to shape it. We tried to address this uncertainty with both objectivity and prudent optimism, enabling the site to become a display of possibilities able to irrigate the territory hosting it with new identities, typologies and programs.

While the oil-economy is based on increase and growth, we imagined a project that can also resist expansion: stall, diminish, adapt, retreat, deflate… A project that is not retroactively portioned into a budget-determined phasing, but ultimately emerges as the result of an incessant dialogue with its context.

A Europan 13 project, with Annabelle Blin (Etablissement)