Part of a long-term neighborhood upgrading process, the project is a mixed use civic hub. Across three adjacent buildings, it hosts, among other things, a dance school, auditorium, crèche, and commercial space. The design has been developed through collaboration between community organizations, a local architecture firm, and a private developer. The project is elaborated through time. Appropriation of the site through temporary events and structures makes the site a social space before construction even commences. Coinciding with a long-term investing model – “patient capital” – the durable, low-maintenance architecture foresees the popularity of the civic center for generations to come.
In an exciting inversion, the social space of the project precedes the physical space. The jury was greatly impressed by this logic and the corresponding long-term investment strategy that makes compelling sustainable development financially feasible. The intelligence of the economic architecture is matched by robust building forms that house activities determined by the community. Construction is strategically based as much as possible on existing local methods that have been adapted to improve durability and decrease maintenance. As the site is made and remade, it is continuously strengthening its role as a center for community empowerment.