Productive Memories

Oliva (ES) - Winner


Team Representative: Luis Bernardo Vaamonde (ES) – architect; Associates: Ana Méndez Garzo (ES), Ignacio Burgos González (ES)– architects
Contributor: Santiago Cañete Sánchez (ES) – architect

C/ del Barco 14 Portal 5 2ª, 28320 Pinto, Madrid, (ES)
+34628222030- –

See the complete listing of portraits here
See the site page here

L. Vaamonde, A. Garzo, I. González & S. Sánchez

VIDEO (by the team)


1. How did you form the team for the competition?

We are members of Terrario Arquitectura, a platform for collaborations between architects. It was founded in 2018 with the aim to provide young architects the opportunity to work on projects with colleagues who share the same interests and motivations. The four of us decided to participate in the competition to test our reflections on the contemporary city from multiple scales and link our architectural background to reality.

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?

Historically productive plots were located away from cities, disconnected because of contamination. Factories were supplied by natural ecosystems without a sense of responsibility about ecological wellness. When their activities came to an end the place fell into disuse and lost its meaning as a part of the city. The industrial area lacked in territory instead. Our main issue was to face Oliva’s landscape and try to give a productive meaning according to urban life, while protecting its identity. Oliva’s large pottery tradition with its old factories and territory made us fall in love since the beginning. We decided to reactivate its memory by implanting productive uses that could place value on the area and make it alive again.


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

At first sight we discovered the potential of the site and understood many of the issues that were posed in the brief. The project area is separated from the city but it is also disconnected to its environment. We understood that mobility, one of the big issues, should have been proposed through urban links and green corridors. We started to think in that way: take a problem as an opportunity to improve the site. A water management system is designed due to the flood risk and supplies a productive landscape. Mixed-use architecture is proposed, solving the displacement problem and preserving the ceramic landscape with selected demolitions. We worked at different scales and thought about partial interventions to achieve our goals. Eventually, the project reactivates memories by implanting a productive use.


4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

This is our first time facing a real case with the complexity, dynamics and agents that Oliva has. But separately we have been investigating issues that the site contains. Luis explored in his masters' project the idea of the city as an ecosystem that works in a closed cycle of energy and matter. Teresa Galí-Izard and Batlle i Roig Architects project in Vall d’en Joan was an inspiration to recover the soil and implanting productive vegetation. Nacho also wrote a paper about “Abandonment management as a strategy for rural planification” working on the idea of identity and heritage to protect ancient buildings from decay. Our vision of the city, in this matter, was inspired by Kevin Lynch’s books, specially “Echarse a perder: un análisis del deterioro” which analyses damage. H architectes works were always an inspiration to visualize the kind of architecture we wanted to achieve, in particular “Civic centre in Lleialtat Santsenca 1214” project.


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?

Nowadays our generational challenge is to re-think and to re-adapt architectural heritage related to disused production in order to develop an adaptative, versatile and open-programmed architecture. Productive uses are linked to time, they could disappear as happened in the past. Thus, we must be flexible in our proposals and design according to the present but thinking about the future. The proposal here presented can be done in different phases to promote negotiation process with all the agents involved and to guarantee its efficiency in an economical context. Therefore, our project intends to maximize the possibilities and potential activities step by step by improving the site production with a sequence of interventions along the way. 

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

Yes, it is the first time we have won and also the first time we have participated together. This competition has been useful already because it was an opportunity to research and to put in practice several concepts that we wanted to explore in a deeper way. It was an incredible exercise that cannot always be done in our day-to-day work. This experience opens a door in our professional career, giving us the chance to bring our ideas to reality.



Office: -
Functions: Architects
Average age of the associates: 26 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?

Experimenta Pontevedra 2018 Festival, Noc Noc 2018 Festival, Paraiso 2019 Festival.