Ex-aequo Winner Europan 14 Warsaw
Team Andrea Gimeno, Lluís J. Liñán, Xevi Lluch
Client Warszawa Biuro Architektury i Planowania Przestrzennego
In 2012, 1.3 billion tons of solid waste was produced in the Planet Earth; 180 Kg per person. This overwhelming amount of disposed material is unlikely to decrease in the next decades, for the world population is expected to keep growing at a constant pace during this century. However, the generation of waste is going to increase even at a faster pace than population and urbanization: municipal solid waste produced throughout the planet is expected to double in the next 10 years, reaching a total mass of 2.2 billion tons in the year 2025.
Surprisingly, this estimate doesn’t seem to have an impact on the presence of waste as a central term in political discourse. Despite its crucial influence on the environment, waste is still treated as an invisible product of contemporary cities. If we are to meet the environmental goals set to bring our cities back to the frequency of our planet, a change of mindset is necessary: rather than regarding it as an invisible, unavoidable burden of progress, waste must be approached as an essential resource for social and economic development. This is particularly urgent in Warsaw, a city where the recycling rates are far below the standards set by the EU.
We believe in the ability of architecture to act as a trigger for the aforementioned change of mindset.
Our proposal appropriates this conceptual goal as the starting point of a reflection on the possibility of taking on waste as the essential resource of an alternative model of urban design. The Excity is a project that takes advantage of the conditions of the site to imagine a speculative city-within-the city; a political entity that boldly accepts that waste must be turned into a fundamental asset of contemporary cities in order to materialize the social potential of circular economy.
It is a city that brings back to life the materials disposed by the city of Warsaw and turns them into its essential resource from a social, economic and educational perspective.
It is a city that exists in a permanent state of precariousness, for it fully embraces the consequences and potentials of putting waste at the center of production.
The Excity is the negative of the city, an experimental urban manifestation of circular economy. It is a city that feeds off the waste of Warsaw in order to exist, acting as a dialectical mirror that aims at transforming the consumption dynamics of the Polish capital.