BOCAMAR: the seams of the water

Nalón (ES) - Winner


Associates: Elias Bourbia (FR), Charles Rosenfeld (FR), Elena Tejero (ES) – architects, Mar Ruiz (ES) – architect urbanist

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VIDEO (by the team)

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1. How do you define the main issue of your project in relation with the theme “Living Cities Imagining architecture taking care of the milieus”? And in which way do you think your project can contribute to an ecological and/or social evolution?
Our project is based in three mainstays: revitalize the port infrastructure areas and transform them to provide ecosystem services, preserve natural landscape and cultural heritage and adapt the Nalón estuary to climate change. Thus, all measures aim to preserve and straighten the deep ties between the two villages of the estuary while respecting their identities and historical backgrounds and addressing the bioclimatic emergency.

2. How did the issues of your design and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The port infrastructure of the estuary was used for loading and transporting the coal extracted from Asturian mines, an important industrial activity still rooted in the memory of locals. These vast areas, which in some cases were once natural soils, are currently being used inefficiently, have been degraded, paved with concret and no-longer adapted to major contemporary issues. Our design aims to transform these spaces and adapt them to new activities. Since the end of the industrial activity, marshes have started to recover. Our goal is to protect landscape and ecological values and restore these areas; it is crucial to preserve its important role agains the effects of climate change.


3. Have you treated these issues previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have always been interested in giving a second life to vestiges from the past, as well as in developing renewable energy production methods. Other similar situations and architecture, industrial and environnemental projects have been studied in order to find the best proposals to this site.


4. How can your project be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
We consider a participative process involving all the actors (territorial and local authorities, population, local organisations, future residents or users…). A process of negotiation and urban planning is needed, particularly in brown field sites: the harbour in L’Arena, the shipyard of la Xunquera and Puerto Chico. A period of technical studies is necessary, especially regarding the West dike. Both urban areas have different historical backgrounds, but their own particularities complement each other. The proposal aims to preserve and strengthen the deep ties between the villages respecting their identities.


5. How did you form the team for the competition and if so what are the skills you associated?
We have already worked together on projects at different scales. Three of us have worked in the architecture office Jean-Christophe Quinton architecte, in Paris. Mar Ruiz has also worked as an architect in Paris. We thus share a common perspective, awareness and sensitivity towards architecture and landscape. We have all graduated from different Schools of Architecture, which provides distinct skills and references. One of us has worked in several urban projects, which completes the team.

6. How could this prize help you in your professional career?
This award is a great opportunity to have a commission to develop an urbain, environmental and architectural project in an unique place. It is also an excellent occasion to make known our work, values and way of work.

Legal status: 

Team name: Atelier Bocamar
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 so, which ones?
We all have already worked together and individually in other competitions. Some of them have been awarded: Visitor centre of the Étang de la Gruère, 4th prize; Concordia lighthouse, Finalist; 8 housing units in Levallois-Perret, Paris, Finalist (Charles Rosenfeld); Amsterdam’s children Playschool, Finalist (Elena Tejero).
We develop separately projects on different scales : houses in Mornant, renovation of appartements, housing units in Paris…