Couvet, NE
Wettbewerb Europan 2012
1. Preis
Zusammenarbeit mit collectif z00


Over time, the industrial Dubied site became clogged with haphazard development as the diachronic needs industry increased. Buildings are random with no relationship to each other. Our design vision of the future focuses on the revitalization of the Dubied historic industrial site into a center of regional economic and cultural development. The major focus was to find a system that could meet the needs of each owner and at the same time provide continuity as a whole. If we were to name this approach, we could call it, “all in one”.

The process of the project tries to put together multiple themes into a global approach:

Conservation and enhancement of existing architectural heritage.
With careful consideration to the protection, enhancement, and repurposing of existing historic buildings, our proposal is a solution that can integrate existing and proposed uses and have the sustainable flexible expandability potential for future needs.
 The architectural heritage stands out against the standardization of the new built entities, putting the visual emphasis on the particularities of each preserved building. Dubied’s repurposed historic factories breathe new life into a cohesive ergonomic town and surrounding area.

Classification of public spaces and clarification of the relationships between the site and the town, its activity sectors.
The river - Areuse - creates a spine in the core framework of the town of Couvet and ensures a global vision of the landscape. On the site, an outdoor public space, footpath along the river narrows or widens according to constraints to create exceptional places.

Maximize of future useful spaces and templates.
In order to allow cohabitation within the current and the future activities, the project suggests a scalable building system in the form of a continuous layer. This overlay covers the site with boundaries that are limited to a maximum height of 12 meters. The roof lowers down to create small buildings orientated North and South, that provides sufficient natural light to every level.

Adaptability and programmatic mix.
Each owner has specific needs both physical and temporal. Morphology provides scalability and adaptability to the specific needs and space requirements to the individual needs of owners. 
In terms of functionality, this template promotes accessibility and flexibility to allow a diversity of activities, and accommodate office building R +2, R +1 workshops, and ground level industry.

Scalable construction phases.
To allow coexistence between current and future activities, the network layer is a scalable system. The positioning of the planned buildings is designed to fit with the existing land plots.In this way, each owner can choose to go forward in the process of transformation of his own plot or stand by without major consequences for Dubied-site. The overlay is a projected final vision, but a multitude of intermediate steps are possible and sustainable.