Living Soils

Barcelona (ES) - Mentionné


Représentant de l'équipe : José Sanmartín González (ES) – architecte ; Associés : Teo Hildalgo Nácher (ES), Daniel Molas Gual (ES) – architectes
Collaborateurs : Ana Adeva Bustos (ES) – environmentaliste ; Antonio Sànchez Cordero (ES) – consultant en développement durable ; Fan Jiawen (CN) – étudiante en architecture

Nácher-Sanmartín Architects –

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J. Sanmartín González, T. Hidalgo Nácher, D. Molas Gual

VIDEO (par l'équipe)

(en anglais)

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

We met in China in 2015 when working together at the same office and since then have been collaborating in different projects and competitions. We saw Europan as a great opportunity to reflect upon some of the challenges that we as society are facing nowadays. 

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 brief asked for a proposal of new housing linked with agricultural production in Vallbona. Despite being one of the smallest districts of Barcelona, it contains one of its largest orchards. We take advantage of this double condition. On the one hand we propose to blur the boundaries between city and landscape thinking of an architecture that will take care of the environment through a strategy of affection and of proximity. And on the other, we understand the location as a complex and changing ecosystem where water, energy, people, animals and vegetation can coexist with similar importance. We intend to give visibility to these agents to make them gain agency while multiplying the possibilities of what can happen. 


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

We try to speed up architecture by incorporating time into the conversation. We look at the soil and its possibilities to reactivate existing ecosystems. This reactivation will occur with a synchronized growth based on small pilot projects that could be tested and improved over time.


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

The ideas developed in "Living Soils" –such as paying attention to both human and non-human actors, the importance of water and soil or considering buildings as conglomerates of systems– have been explored before through both our activities in academia and professional projects. We looked at the possibilities provided by vernacular agricultural examples such as farmhouses as well as the logics behind appropriated peripheral spaces.


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?

We propose an open strategy based on temporary processes. This strategy includes the creation of a cooperative productive model which can incorporate both existing and future neighbours as well as a collaborative system where different actors can take part.

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 are awarded at Europan and we are very glad to get such recognition as we consider this forum plays an important role both as an incubator of innovative proposals as well as a platform that takes care of the commons. This prize encourages us to keep on researching on the topics we consider relevant nowadays.



Office: Nácher-Sanmartí
Functions: Architects, environmentalist, hydraulic engineer 
Average age of the associates: 33 years old

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

We are a multidisciplinar office based in Shanghai and Amsterdam led by Teo Hidalgo cher and José Sanmartín González. Our team is involved with academia and practice focusing on projects and research that explore the ways in which architecture enacts to gain agency in society and contribute towards more complex, inclusive and balanced ecosystems.
We have implemented and won some projects and competitions in both Spain and China such as the Ripollés-Manrique House, Westbund Penthouse, 1st prize for The Eastbund Lighthouse Competition, 1st prize Sanlin Bridge or Runner-up for the restoration of the Sanctuary San Joan de Penyagolosa.
Our team is composed of Teo Hidalgo Nácher, lecturer in Architecture and Design at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, José Sanmartín González, architect at UNStudio, Daniel Molas Gual, architect at Templo de la Sagrada Familia.

Ripolles-Manrique House, Castellon (ES)
© Jose Hevia
Westbund Penthouse, Shanghai (CN)

20th Century Museum, Extension Competition,
Berlin (DE)