Madrid (ES) - Runner-up


Associates: Lluis Juan Liñán (ES) Andrea Gimeno Sánchez (ES) Josep Vicent Lluch Díaz (ES) Jesús Lazcano López (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 main purpose of our project is to preserve and enhance the empty spaces in this area of Carabanchel, an extremely dense peripheral district of Madrid that is completely removed from the network of green areas of the city. So much so that, the only pervious grounds in the area correspond to vacant lots –the scars of decades of second-class planning and collective indifference. The project aims to turn this wasteland into landscape. To achieve this goal, the built and the void establish a new kind of agreement, whereby the essential traits of wasteland –informality, fertility, strangeness, ambiguity, fluctuation- become guidelines to transform them.

2. How did the issues of your design and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Many of the vacant lots in the area are of public property. In Spanish, we use the word ‘patrimony’ to speak both of property and heritage. Interestingly, the municipality makes use of the first meaning: to them, the lots are an economic asset because of its potential for being developed. To us, however, the lots read as heritage: a unique kind of public space whose main potential is to remain empty, pervious, fertile, accessible. It is in this twofold interpretation where the design and the site may find an interesting friction.


3. Have you treated these issues previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have a tendency to work with the debris of the city and those areas of urbanization that unfold at the blind spots of architectural attention. These areas are quite relevant to us, for they force us to think of design, construction or social scenarios in unusual ways. In this sense, Jesus’s winning proposal in Torrelavega or Andrea, Lluis and Xevi’s runner-up project for Warsaw, both for Europan 14, are examples of the tactics that we have tested before to transform the values of such unattended areas.


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?
The size and the complexity of the network of municipal vacant lots in Madrid can only be addressed in a process that unfolds over time, combining a general strategy with a series of specific tactics. Our project addresses these two ways of approaching the site, so it could be implemented both at a strategic level and/or as a series of specific interventions.


5. How did you form the team for the competition and if so what are the skills you associated?
Our two offices –rellam and Jesús Lazcano- have collaborated in different projects during these last years, and it was just natural for us to work together again for Europan 17.

6. How could this prize help you in your professional career?
We are looking forward to joining the conversation arranged by Europan around the current theme of Living Cities. We are also thrilled to collaborate with the city of Madrid to discuss and implement some of the ideas included in our proposal.

Legal status: 

Team name: rellam + Jesús Lazcano
Average age of the associates: 38 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? if so, which ones?
We have been awarded prizes in previous editions of Europan, as separate teams. Specifically, Jesus’s winning project for Torrelavega in Europan 14 has been fully developed and is awaiting permission to start construction. In rellam, we have completed other projects dealing with the city and public space, including a playground in Balsa de Ves or an intervention in one of the warehouses of Valencia’s harbour.