Post By Mitja Vovko
on 04. Apr 2013

Trimo Urban Crash 2013 committe report

Trimo Urban Crash is an international competition for students of architecture and design. The aim is to encourage aspiring designers of urban space towards a bolder, more ambitious approach towards understanding architecture and its place in the larger urban environment. The competition ventures beyond the realm of applied theory by exploring and revealing the innovativeness, flexibility and effectiveness of Trimo products and solutions – and their distinct advantages in contemporary design and building.
All of the works are published in an online gallery. Trimo Urban Crash offers no monetary rewards, as we see greater purpose in the acquiring of knowledge, valuable experience and finally, recognition.
The theme of the architectural building 2013 is a self-sufficient Bike Base designed as a sustainable building consisting of a maximum of three Trimo modular units, and connecting the following components through its form and purpose: 
• grabbing a morning coffee or pastry on the way to work or school
• making a small repair or topping up your tire pressure
• enjoying an after-work refreshment or a chat with friends
• resting along your cycling route or between stops
• checking your mail at the wireless hot-spot
• charging your mobile phone, laptop or electric bike
The architectural facility must represent an original work by the author and serve a tangible public purpose. Students envisage and propose additional content and micro-location inputs themselves.
An international expert jury evaluated all entries received, and included professors of architecture and design, practicing architects, the author of the previous winning competition entry, a Trimo company representative and a representative from the Ljubljana city municipality:
• Adam Kalkin, artist and architect, USA               
• Angela Van Der Kloof, mobility consultant, the Netherlands
• Jure Kotnik, architect, Slovenia       
• Janez Koželj, Vice Mayor of Ljubljana, Professor, Faculty of Architecture Ljubljana, Slovenia 
• Janez Bertoncelj, cycling coordinator at City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Wojtek Nowak, winner of 2011 Trimo Urban Crash competition (with Martynika Bielawska), Poland 
• Michael Stacey, RIBA, FRSA, Professor, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
• Ron Fitch, designer, TRIMO UK, United Kingdom       
• Maja Lapajne, Marketing Director, TRIMO Group, Slovenia
• Mitja Vovko, architect, TRIMO Group, Slovenia
Pre-evaluation process:
In the first phase of evaluation the jury – assembled by internationally recognised experts from the field of modular building, designers, consultants, users, technology experts, builders and architects – was given a period of two weeks (10 – 24 February 2013) to evaluate all 221 entries from 37 countries; and to draw up a list of their selection for 30 (or less) projects that indicated certain technological, environmental or social components that warranted the project going forward to the next stage. Extended shortlist projects had to address the given task and embody some degree of feasibility. Those entries receiving only a single vote did not proceed to the final stage. 
Evaluation day:
Final evaluation day was held on at the main Municipality of Ljubljana offices, on the morning of 2 March. Jury assessment began with the presentation of the key evaluation criteria and components: environmental aspects, public program opportunity, reproducibility, diversity, ease of relocation, self-sufficiency, rationality, simplicity and consistency with the brief and technology given.
After a general introduction an overview off all entries was performed. To avoid influencing each other and still obtain a constructive group dynamic a method of individual scoring using one-point stickers was chosen. Although this phase may appear rather mechanical and discouraging of group debate it offered the jury the opportunity to remain neutral and wholly responsible in its decision-making. Via this process an acceptable total of 41 projects receiving one or more points were selected. Those projects with only a single, jury point were excluded from the next evaluation stage, but with the possibility of re-entering in the final discussion phase. For that to happen a jury member supporting a “one-point entry” was required to provide an expert opinion on why the entry should be re-entered for consideration. After the “one-point projects” were eliminated a selection of the best 31 projects was made. 
Categories, typology groups for evaluation:
The final best 31 solutions have been grouped into five categories according to typology using a method of comparative analysis. Each project family was individually discussed and reviewed with all jury members. Groups have not been positioned as opponents in the sense of right or wrong but in the correlative framework of suitable – unsuitable. 
• Tower: 
74D39, NEWHA, dNAMO, Trace
• Minimalism: 
 T2MMS, 13057, BYOB1
• Longitudinal: 
A6841, G4804, TRIGF, GURU1, 81020, 00001, ANELZ, 12504, Z5S5Z               
• Experimental landscape: 
03858, 4GOOD, 14034, DC1JO
• Social space complex: 
ink00, 87C14, pixel, LJUbo, 15033, JCSBO, TSHAP, 20436, SHIFT, CG2BP, LPMNA
Comparison method, opponents:
Tower - Horizontal slab  
Non-linear - Grid    
Park – Street
Trap – In between     
Composition cluster - Compact capsule        
Grouping - Accessive additive       
Staircase - Ramp         
Central - Irregular        
Complex - Single
The finalists or most noteworthy cases of each group have been forwarded to the final evaluation phase. All projects were placed before the committee for general discussion, which included evaluation methods, experiences and feasibility recommendations. 
Employing a rather Darwinian system at this point appeared insufficient when looking to identify potential for social gathering. In order to introduce some larger objectivity an important re-entry possibility was chosen and all jury members had the chance to reintroduce a project from the first phase. Re-entries were discussed and joined in the final group evaluation.
Winners were chosen from among all typology categories for best facility and for re-entered projects. Final voting to determine prize-winners and honourable mentions was again executed using a scoring method applied by each jury member:
Best solution 5 points, Medium-quality solution 3 points, Minor-quality solution 1 point.   
Given the quantity (220 project submissions), this presented a great challenge to the committee, but also offered a good field for comparison and insight in the field of modular architecture in Europe and around the world. The committee established that all projects were submitted on time and included all relevant components.
When evaluating projects the committee relied on principal values determined by members of the committee and also searched for an additional role the building might assume in that specific area.
Although the competition worked to promote a particularly simple building aggregate, overall concepts of modular space units as a collection of entries did not display a substantial degree of quality. Architectural concepts were rich in design and programme, but in a way lacked a sense of primary architectural invention, research and strong implementation to the specifics of the location. Putting that aside, the framework of modular architecture proved to be a field of new development potential, where out of simplicity engaging contrasts and surprises could emerge –  but this only if the technology is mastered and logically, correctly employed. 
In conclusion, the awards committee president of evaluation Janez Koželj offered: “The jury witnessed a wide array of diverse approaches in the project submissions. Entrants pushed a host of technologies and construction techniques; they used different approaches, paying particular attention to industrial design, integration in the park setting, and the composition of modular units configured as towers, portals or pavilions.”
Final shortlist:
Code: JCSBO; 1st place
Code: SHIFT;   2nd place
Code: 14034;   3rd place
Code: 13057; Honourable mention for: Minimalism                       
Code: pixel; Honourable mention for: Interior           
Code: LJUbo; Honourable mention for: Unique mental scheme
Code: G4804; Honourable mention for Site adequate solution
Code: A6841; Akripol Honourable mention for Prudent socializing space
Author: Jorge Lopez Sacristan, Christina Codjambopoulo, Beatriz Gomez Martin, Sara Rebollo
Faculty: Köln Fachhochschule
Country: Germany
Mentor: Prof. Eva-Maria Pape
The jury claimed the facility solves and interconnects two entities: a public and a private space. The project is not self- or auto-oriented, and idea-wise it gives much more to the location than it takes. On a location that does not yet display a particular urban quality, a fluid yet optimistic project can provide a very significant social contribution. The project uses a sufficient site plan and does not require additional passes and roads. The private, second-level part of the modular project facing the park has a quality of individuality and softly touches the ground. This very intelligent project does not need an extensive amount of investment to be realised.
Author: Manus Leung, Kacper Krywult
Faculty: Faculty of Built Environment at University of New South Wales AND Faculty of Architecture / Warsaw University of Technology - Poland
Country: Australia And Poland
Being a bit self-orientated and dislocated, the so-called “country house” inside a city brings to the city’s shore an awareness of city greenery. The pavilion promotes the only quality that the other entries did not embrace, and this is the potential for the social enjoyment of the park. It acts not as “a quick stop” but invites you inside to stop and relax, and enjoy the feeling of being in a hamlet within what is a highly urbanised area. The project has also the attractive potential of revitalising the park area, which is presently in a state of degeneration. The offshore park has the potential to gain extreme popularity.
Author: Małgorzata Wawrzyniak
Faculty: Fakulteta za arhitekturo, Univerze v Ljubljani
Country: Poland
Mentor: prof.Miloš Florijančič, univ.dipl.inž.arh., doc.Mitja Zorc, univ.dipl.inž.arh.
Though not quite an ideal solution for a modular unit aggregate the project was the only one that worked as a socialising sequential master urban plan. Custom-made half-frame modules redirect the route from the existing passengers’ way higher, leading the cyclist through a series of attractive urban shelters. Urban development enables future extension but does not respect and explore a modular unit scheme in a technologically responsible manner. The question remains whether feasibility is gained in the sense of a cost rational. The proposal is appealing but too conceptual.
Author: Piotr Woldan, Michał Romański, Justyna Turowska
Faculty: Wrocław University of Technology Faculty of Architecture
Country: Poland
Mentor: dr. Marek Lamber
At first glance the project boasts nothing particularly special, nor does it embody any real appealing energy, but it does surprise with a certain uniqueness in its modular simplicity. Its strongest feature is its reproducibility and its mobile pragmatism in the scenario whereby it would be duplicated at various locations throughout Ljubljana. In the sense of choosing the right location the solution is very experimental. Inside, we find multiple bicycle-friendly gadgets, as efficient and sufficient both as a Swiss army knife. Certain architecturally contrasting forces of the project are missing, but it does display some real future commercial potential. 
Author: Alexandr Valakh
Faculty: Built Environment at University of Manchester
Country: United Kingdom
Mentor: Colin Pugh
A bit questionable in application “Pixel” project really surprises when entering the inner volume. With the use of very nicely elaborated drawings author introduces a tactile and warm sugar-free materials acting as an extreme contrapunkt to its exterior robust appearance.

An honest game of transparent and solid materials nicely evolves within a given volume. By doing so the visitor does not have a feeling of being in a modular orthonormal unit but rather enjoy a domestic living room atmosphere.

Author: Luis Fernando Osorio Lua, Jose Abraham Buenrostro Valadez
Faculty: Facultad de Arquitectura, UNAM
Country: Mexico
Though very questionably sited, this feasible project exploits a kind of robotic design approach. Elevations with mechanised vertical openings are very expensive solutions to realise, even though the solution does offer some benefits in terms of functionality and safety. The openings in the base are not those characteristic of a container unit and must be engineered individually. The project could have gained more points if the openings had been better elaborated – thinner, lighter or translucent, and employing as little material as possible.
Author: Dušan Lilić
Faculty: Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture - University of Niš
Country: Serbia
In terms of location implementation this project applies the best and only logical solution. With its sequence of programs running longitudinally through the building the city cyclist gets everything he needs in one place, even though the city centre is near. This proposal is simple but it functions, it respects the technology and does not present the cyclists’ passage as an obstacle. The sliding doors for closing each programme appear a very reasonable solution in terms of safety and security – an approach/decision worth mentioning. 
Author: Petra Karlova
Faculty: Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design
Country: Czech Republic
Mentor: prof. Ivan Kroupa
At first glance the proposal employs a nice clear strategy but uses a false site. The longitudinal typology logically divides a cluster of pedestrian and private communications. If the municipality were willing to give up a certain part of the plot the idea of dual, private and urban co-entities could be developed. Moving earth extracted from the site to form a green wall is an interesting example of site improvement. Having a moving canvas, billboard or cinema screen on a private site is an important mode of communication and creates an epicentre of activity. The idea of the building is worth applying but perhaps this site is simply not the right one. 
Mitja Vovko, u.d.i.a.