Team Representative: Lys Villalba Rubio (ES) – Architect; Associates: Enrique Espinosa Pérez (ES), María Andrés Rodríguez (ES), Ángela Juarranz Serrano (ES), Mae Durant Vidal (ES) - Architects
L. Villalba Rubio, E. Espinosa Pérez, M. Andrés Rodríguez, A. Juarranz Serrano & M. Durant Vidal
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
Our team is a multidisciplinary group formed by professionals interested in architecture and all the areas around it, like social, cultural, political, or ecological issues. The convenience of the multifaceted association led us to converge into a diversified group of friends, from different regions, ages, pursuits, and fields of work. The team was specifically formed according to Lasarte-Oria context.
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 Basohiria project (The Forest City) reflects on the productive domesticities that hybridize the rural and the urban through architecture actions that promote biodiversity, sustainability and energy efficiency, managing its community spaces collectively. Basohiria proposes a rur-urban context connected with San Sebastian and Oria Valley, developing economic and affective alliances with its nearby rural context. The project enhances dynamics such as self-sufficiency, low impact environmental, green mobility strategies or the reduction of consumption through co-shared resources.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Basohiria explores the hypothesis of ‘caserío’ (basque farmhouse) as a typology of collective housing. If the traditional caserío is inhabited by a human family together with domestic animals, Basohiria is the habitat of contemporary productive human and non-human families community. Basohiria also balances public, sharing and private spaces, between inhabitants and neighbours communities, with ecological, pro-accessibility and collaborative criteria.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have treated previously and independently in other architecture projects several issues related to rur-urban landscapes, ecological architecture and collaborative designs in other regions of the world. Besides our previous experiences, we have focused our research in the local references, investigating the alliances between the rural and the urban in the traditional ‘caseríos’ in the area —scattered throughout the Gipuzkoan territory and linked with urban public markets nearby, such as Ordizia, Tolosa and San Sebastian—; learning from the context networks —as a popular basque saying remarks ‘Good neighbour, good friend’ (in Basque ‘bizilaguna, lagun ona’)—; or taking into account how the different facades in the ‘caserío’ are adapted to local climate conditions —the ground floor is ceramic; door systems allow opening that could be closed in winter, and open for ventilation in summer—.
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?
Basohiria balances public, sharing and private spaces, between inhabitants and neighbours communities, with ecological, pro-accessibility and collaborative criteria. The implementation is planned in a gradual negotiation process, developing affective and economic alliances within the context. The proposal is designed as ‘One building, 8 communities and 100 homes‘ at once. Therefore, Basohiria is expanded and condensed at the same time. It is a large farmhouse made up of eight small ‘caserío’ communities. This multiple scale enables productive and sharing spaces in three different areas: private (inside the houses), nearby (between community neighbours) and collective (100 homes). At the same time, each home is designed for mutation and adaptation, integrating private production spaces. In addition, each home gives buildable 15 sqm to the community, to generate 1500 sqm of collective spaces, that allow expanded productive conditions towards collaboration and flexible models, telework, entrepreneurship or cooperativism. Basohiria is an open system whose configurations would be defined by the specific inhabitants at any time. Is a livable living infrastructure.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Some of the team members have been awarded in different Europan editions. It is important since the beginning of the career development to have the opportunity to respond to social and architectural issues in real conditions in differents parts of Europe, as extended collaborative networks to share reflections and thoughts on architecture as a social and technical development discipline always through sustainability focus. Also to be in contact with real institutions and other professionals out of your country it is key for young architects. As a whole, it is an expanded urban agents network for a complete hands-on research and design work.
Functions: Architecture, local experts and environmentalists
Average age of the associates: 37 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
We have participated separately in several competitions, obtaining the following prizes:
- Second Prize in the Competition for a Public Library in Villaverde, Madrid (Spain)
- First Prize and Accesit Prize in Transitarte Competition
- Originalité Prize in Philips Lumec Exterior lighting Grant
- Accesit Prize in the Urban Trees Competition by the Spanish Sustainable Architecture Agency
- Accesit Prize in J5 Young Spanish Architects Competition; Second Prize in the Competition for the Media Village for Madrid Olympics 2016
- Accesit Prize in the Competition for a Public Market in San Chinarro, Madrid
- Arquia Proxima Prize 2012 and 2014; First Prize in Alcazar de San Juan Museum Competition (Spain)
- First Prize in Teruel Market Square Renewal Competition (Spain).Awarded in Norway EEA Grants 2014
- Finalist in Paris POC21 2015
- Awarded in Idea Camp 2015 in Sweden
- 2nd and 3rd Prize in Europan IX, 1er Prize Arquia/Próxima 2012
- 1st Prize Urban Built Project in VIII Bienal de Arquitectura del Caribe
- 1st Prize Landscape category in Architecture Santo Domingo Bienale