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Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée

Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée (AAA), is a collective of architects who transform urban spaces through collaborative, localized endeavors. It is recognized as an engine for engaging citizens in shaping their own cities through experimentation and renewal.

Founded in 2001 by Franco-Romanian architects Constantin Petcouand and Doina Petrescu, AAA stages creative urban interventions that involve neighborhood residents in re-imagining unused, derelict spaces. For example, establishing a community hub in a pass-through between buildings or planting a self-sufficient vegetable garden in a space between high rises that was formerly treated as a place to throw refuse. AAA acts as the creative instigator; empowering communities to carry out and sustain their own urban regeneration ideas.

In a project titled Rhyzom the team started with a survey of models of sustainable community living around Europe. After mapping examples of co-housing, small-scale agriculture, and cottage industry, they translated their observations into workshops in green roof design, rainwater collection systems, waste recycling, food growing, and handicrafts.

Taking their findings further, AAA’s R-Urban project is a bottom-up strategy that seeks to expand urban resilience by introducing a network of resident-run facilities that allow citizens to produce their own food, create building materials from their waste and build co-operative housing units.