Torrelavega (ES) - Winner


Associates: Manuel Villalain Gonzalez (ES), Manuel Mateu Sanchis (ES) – architects

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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?
The design approach is rooted in various factors that actively contribute to both ecological and social evolution, thus ensuring the well-being of the environment upon which our project is founded. These factors can be succinctly summarized as follows:
a. Environmental Impact: Designing buildings and infrastructure that minimize negative impacts on the environment, including energy consumption, waste generation, and carbon emissions.
b. Biodiversity: Promoting biodiversity within the urban area by incorporating green spaces, rooftop gardens, and wildlife-friendly architecture to enhance the overall ecological balance.
c. Resilience to Climate Change: Developing architectural solutions that can withstand and adapt to the effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events like floods.
d. Community Well-being: Focusing on a design that prioritizes the well-being of the residents, fostering a sense of community, and providing access to amenities that contribute to a high quality of life.
e. Resource Efficiency: Implementing strategies to optimize the use of resources, including sustainable materials, water conservation, and efficient energy systems.
f. Cultural Integration: Incorporating elements of local culture and history into architectural designs to create a sense of identity and connection between the residents and their surroundings.

2. How did the issues of your design and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The design is driven by the questions raised by the site. Identity, social interaction and ecology are the pillars of the intervention.


3. Have you treated these issues previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Yes we have completed several urban interventions at international offices. Some projects that have been an inspiration are the New York highline from Diller and Scofidio, the Promenade Plantée in Paris or the urban intervention in Burgos from Herzog and de Meuron.


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?
Flexibility is the key point for the success of our project, being able to adapt to new requirements. Incorporating citizen participation by actively involving local communities in decision-making processes, seeking their input on the project design and priorities. Establish mechanisms for ongoing communication and collaboration, ensuring that citizens have a meaningful role in shaping the project, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability within the community.


5. How did you form the team for the competition and if so what are the skills you associated?
The team is a result of multiple professional collaborations between us. In terms of skills we both have a similar background , focusing on projects form large scale urban interventions to small architectural projects.

6. How could this prize help you in your professional career?
As architects and urbanists, we dream to have a positive impact on the city and the people living in it. With this prize, we hope we can develop these thoughts and help Torrelavega to become a friendlier, healthier and happier place to live.

Legal status:
licenced Architects. Sociedad Limitada
Team name: estudio MARS x manuelvillalainstudio
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?
Together we obtained a second prize for the YAC competition Art Cathedral. Separately, we have won several competitions working for international architecture practices such as Dominique Perrault, Dietmar Feichtinger and MVRDV.