NY Karla [Europan 14, Runner-up]



The city of Karlskrona needs a new way to interact with the sea trough attractive district with an strong identity that could continues the urban context and connects different areas.

The aim of the project is to reinterpret the structure of the archipelago using the rules of the city and the scale of its objets to create a new floating district on the sea. The idea of the ‘archipelago within the archipelago’ propose an urban strategy able to generate new relations within the city and the nature and to be at the same time structure of connection and new settlement.

The sea is taken as platform of a new urban morphology where the presence of the water allows the city elements to be more flexible and moveable.This system creates new way of living the sea that invites people to experiment it. The idea is to follow the demands of the ever-changing society and the desires of the different cultures and personalities.

  1. The floating city

The floating city is organized following the rules of the urban grid of the city (50x70m), using the abacus of existing buildings but with a modular organization. To make this proposal doable it is important to define the phasing of its realization.

The urban phasing is defined by the temporality of the intervention and by the mobility of the elements, that are organized according to the lapse of time of their location.

Phase 1 To re-organize Hattholmen’ shoreline and build a breakwater shaped from the reported land on the site in order to create a new entrance from the sea and protect the new city development. The entrance is underlay by the placement of ‘colonne d’Ercole’some iconic elements that raise from the sea: folies.

Phase 2 To re-connect within a green and energy-producing infrastructure the project site to the city center. This infrastructure will both shape a new inhabited shoreline and create a pedestrian and bike access to Trossö. Here the infrastructure become the attractor pole for the aquatic activities and part of the marina.

Phase 3 To live the infrastructure connecting new floating facilities and public spaces. This action designed a marine infra-structured belt that connected to the shoreline and the water.

Phase 4 To organize on the water a system of piers where the new city can dock. The piers also support the connection with the strategic site linking the area of Muddret to the floating city and its rules.

Phase 5 To settle down the new raft village with different scale of dwellings: various typologies of single housing with private gardens, linear blocs of apartments connected to the piers trough public space made by bottom floor shops and retails, auto sustainable single housing units and on Muddretmixed blocks apartments. (mobility in 5/1/0 years) The city is articulated by public plazas ,gardens and marina piers that interact with the city context.

Phase 6 To expand the flexible system on the strategic site to reconnect the two areas and create a double values for the project and strategic sites that could interact. The urbanity on Muddret is ruled by the presence of the water that is reconquering the land.

III.     Archipelago abacus


Infrastructure: a vibrant shoreline will be defined by the inhabited infrastructure that will provide in a unique design gesture.

Fish farming basins: A new productive landscape will define Mudderet development, re-connecting the land to the sea and establishing a different relation between man-made environment and natural elements.

Skatepark: this floating public space connected with the infrastructure aims to create an immersive user experience for the skateboarders, who will literally slide on the water.

Reverse swimming pool: Typically with an indoor swimming pool you have land and you design the pool within the land. In Karlskrona, we have water, but have to design the land: a swimming pool in reverse.

Floating fish farming: The productive landscape on Mudderet will move to the sea during an advanced stage of the fish’s growth, underlying the symbiotic relationship between the land and the water.

Marina: in order to avoid the typical “marina cluster” isolated from the surroundings, a spread typology will allow us to create a flexible and open platform for 1500 boats.

Market plaza: Fishing represents one of the deeper connection between mans and the sea, hence, the fish market is not only a goods-exchanging place, but most of all an experience-exchanging space.

Eolic production system

Floating city

Panorama towers: a five storeys building apartment that stands mainly on the Muddret site. Here the visual connection with the sea is guaranteed by the height of the building. (2/4 apt par floor-50 inhabitants par building)

Linear block:a three storeys building where the ground floor is given to retails, shops, bars and restaurants. (50-75 sq apt. 50 inhabitants par block)

Red House: a single storey family house around 100 sqm. It is thought for a family of Karkslrona that wants to live by the sea. (4-6 people par house)

Yellow House: a two storey house. The house is thinner and divided in many floors to guarantee the privacy also between different people. (4-6 people par house)

Blue House: a two storey house with free designing of the ground floor to push people to think and design their proper living spaces. (4-6 people par house)

The Green House: a single storey house, green for its capacity of energy producing that allows the element (just 50sqm) to survive alone from the rest of the settlement, over the sea or placed on a hill.

The school: two schools are designed for the young population of Karlskrona. One is on the floating city and the other one is on the strategic site.


Lighthouse: the representation of man’s attempt to understand and dialogue with the sea will guide the sailors toward the new city.

Planetarium: an immersive experience between the sky and the sea

Guesthouse: a temporary home for locals and visitors provided with 30 double bedrooms and can host around 60 people.

City stage: a new public connection between the new city development, Hattholmen and the sea. The structure will be the a new catalyst for the entire city and flexible for different uses.

  1. 1. Conclusion


To be productive again is thought as a possibility to realize an unconventional settlement of experiences. Public, private and production are mixed together to create a space that can work 24h per day 365d par year in a variable composition that can be adaptable and sustainable.Contrary to the the static zoning approach our project suggests to bring different programs working together: the housings are blend with the marina and the facilities are diffuse around them.


Who influences you graphically?

The graphic result is for us not just a final outcome, but a real working tool and it takes an important role in the definition of the project.

We like to explore visionary imaginary. Not just as a provocation, but as a way to understand and reconnect with reality in an unconventional way.

We look up to Superstudio, Archizoom, Ettore Sottsass, James Stirling, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Ellsworth Kelly.

What were your initial response to the Europan brief? How did you start articulating your ideas and thoughts?

To be “productive again” (E14 topic) represents one of the most relevant issues in the planning of contemporary city. Urban planning and architecture are sensible to this theme and the responses are usually link to ecology and sustainably. We wanted to approach it from a wider perspective in order to experiment new opportunities.

To be productive again was for us first of all to understand the context and to reconnect the project with its environment. We looked at the sea as subject of planning: 20 ha over 32ha of the project area was water. The archipelago of Karlskrona is made up by 30 islands connected each others by the presence of the water. The sea became a new urban platform where the presence of the water allows the city elements to be more flexible and movable. We wanted to give to the people the possibility to shape their own relationship with it and experiment it.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when developing the project?

The biggest challenge of the project was to create a symbiotic bond between the new urban tissue and the water. To create of a site-specific system that uses the sea as a liberating tool for the city elements.

Following the archipelago idea we developed a strategy that allows us to reinterpret the urban lot, the scale of the elements of the city and their relations. We studied a flexible urban block made by private and public spaces and we created an unusual platform on which the infrastructure was the common thread for its functioning. Like the backbone in the human body, the infrastructure takes together all the city elements.

How restricting/ liberating did you find the Europan format?

Europan gives a lot of freedom to designers, both from a planning and from a graphic point of view. We were free to express and experiment our own way of approaching and representing the project.

It’s a good way to push people towards different sites and urban morphologies.

What dictated the prevalent use of the axonometric? How important was this as a tool for communication?

We like the axonometric for its transparency and simplicity. It allows us to show the design thinking behind the project, beyond how the final result looks like in terms of shape. We experiment with it, always trying to merge it with other drawings and meanings. The use of the axonometric has been a way to work on plans, elevations and volumes in a same gesture. In one drawing the project is shown, its relations with the context, its morphology, its scale and its use.

In the Europan panels the use of axonometric aimed to showcase the interaction between the new settlement and the sea. And how the latter influences the way of planning and living the city.

If you had to present the project through a single drawing/medium what would this be?

A black and white plan: full and empty.


DUE atelier born between Milan and Paris in 2017. Our duo is the result of years of collaborations since the university period at the Polytechnic School of Milan (IT). Sharing the same approach in the way of thinking the spaces of the city, we try to investigate the relationship between urban rules and architectural objects, analyzing their impact in the social construct.

Giulia  Ragnoli  studied  Architecture  at  Politecnico di Milano and  at  Aalborg  University  in  Denmark, where  she  focused on the scale of detail and interior design typical of nordic architecture.Then she moved to Detroit,  where  she  started  developing an  urban  research project  about  the ‘shrinkage’ affecting some north america  cities.  She  collaborated  with the Taubman College University  in  Ann  Arbor  and  graduated  in  Milan  on  July  2014, cum  laude.  Related to this  topic she published online some  articles. After her graduation Ragnoli worked as tutor assistant for several workshops in Politecnico di Milano. She furthermore moved to Paris working at Dominique Perrault  Architecture Office and currently at Maison Edouard François.

Mariachiara Mondini completed her studies in 2014 with a master in architecture from Politecnico di Milano and Universidade Federal da Bahia. During her 2 years experience in Brazil she started a participatory design process with the inhabitants of Ladeira da Preguiça community, with the sponsorship of Politecnico di Milano and ONG Movimento Africa 70. She worked at Carlo Ratti Associati since 2017 and she’s currently collaborating with Studio Fuksas as project architect.