Team Representative: Jimena Alonso Díaz (ES) – Architect; Associates: Cristina Sánchez Bueno (ES), Pablo Rodríguez (ES) – Architects
J. Alonso Díaz, P. Rodríguez & C. Sánchez Bueno
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Cristina and Jimena were classmates and friends since University, and Pablo works with Cristina in the same architecture firm. We have been searching for an opportunity to participate in a competition all together, but never found the perfect timing. This is the first time that the three of us work as a team.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
The aim of this proposal is to make the most of the resources of the City of Nin, to turn it into a small productive town, reinventing its possible uses, and opening new frontiers for the future. Its activities will be reinforced and transformed throughout the year to cover different months with equal intensity. Activities based on the same resources, exploited in different ways as part of the same objective to complete a cycle, so that a series of synergies are created between the different agents of this new economy.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The answer to the questions in this proposal is based on the intensity that a new use can create in its surrounding area, and how this may recover the fabric and constructions of the area. Two buildings are designed to delimit the intervention area, the Zdrijac neighborhood. A clinical center related to salt products and treatments based on Nin craft salt will form the southern limit through a “high-rise” building, breaking the horizontality as a landmark on the landscape. On the other hand, the tourism of fauna and flora watching of the existing ecosystem in the wetlands will be exploited by recovering the ruins of the old brick factory. By incorporating a light opened structure and restoring the old thick walls, it will allow the passage of the birds themselves for their incorporation into building activities. These two interventions will attract new uses and activity to the area, creating a new center in Zdrijac, where future growth is expected. That is why an intervention project on public space is carried out, which will connect the fabric of the neighborhood and provide support for a wide range of uses through a series of flexible structures.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have studied productive cities cases and participated in the previous Europan competitions linked to the topic. However, these examples were completely different, as they were located in a dense urban fabric. Some principles could be used in general lines, but strategies must adapt to the site, and change drastically when we get to a village. We chose to create a new centre of intensity in Nin by the incorporation of new uses that can attract both tourists and locals. This productive scenario, in between two buildings and with the public spaces they produce, would create future development of the area. It could be seen, in a smaller scale, as the “Guggenheim effect” in Bilbao. The same happened in Avilés (Asturias, Spain), where the Niemeyer Museum accomplished the small town rehab from pollution and decay.
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
We have always considered this project as a work in progress that will lead to a next step. Multiple solutions were drawn to show the possibilities that Nin’s resources may give for architecture planning. Maybe the construction of both buildings is not necessary, perhaps one of them would be enough, perhaps not. A deeper analysis must be done with the City of Nin, especially concerning economic and demographic matters. The only thing that was certain is the future development of the public spaces inside the area. The design of these places and the use of them would be planned with the authorities and neighbourhoods, side by side, in order to be completely practical and flexible.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Jimena was awarded with a special mention in Europan 13 in Espoo [Tumbling Dice], with a different team, and was also shortlisted in Europan 14 in Linz [Mat Factory 4.0]. Certainly, this has been an opportunity to encourage the three of us to start working as a team in future competitions, and keep doing research about productive cities and contemporary matters concerning urbanism and architecture.
Average age of the associates: 29 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
- Jimena Alonso Díaz: Europan 13 Espoo - Special Mention : [Tumbling Dice] 2015
- Europan 14 Linz – Shortlisted : [Mat Factory 4.0]. 2017