DONNÉES DE L'ÉQUIPE
Représentant d'équipe : Jorge Barreno Cardiel (ES) – architecte ; Associés : Francisco Almodóvar Ruiz (ES), Jose Luis Llaca Bastardo (ES), Angel Marhuenda Serrano (ES), Rafael Molina Planelles (ES), Salvador Ortiz Macià (ES) – architectes
Calle Navas 40 8ºIZQ, 03001 Alicante – España
+44 7 835 366 621 – email@example.com
S. Ortiz Macià, F. Almodóvar Ruiz, J. L. Llaca Bastardo, A. Marhuenda Serrano, J. Barreno Cardiel et R. Molina Planelles
INTERVIEW (en anglais)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
The LOA team was founded on University friendships. Upon completion of our studies we found ourselves in a hostile market due to a troubled worldwide economic situation. However, we strongly believe that only from the union we can achieve our personal and collective interests, which includes international recognition and interesting projects like Europan.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, insisting on how you answered on this session main topic: adaptability and urban rhythms?
From our point of view, the Warszawa site is an example of unresolved conflict of the urban heritage that many European cities have received from the Modern Movement after the post-war reconstruction. Within this context, we find many contradictions between the bases of this Movement, the strong critical opinions that arouse from it straight after, and the contemporary transforming reality. On the other hand, as Richard Sennet said it, what is missing in modern urbanism in particular is a sense of time. Not time looking backwards nostalgically but forward-looking time, the city understood as a process, its imagery changing through use, an urban imagination image formed by anticipation, friendly to surprise. With this in mind, we erased time from the Modernist old decaying concept of the site adapting it to the rhythms of a more vibrant and contemporary reality, ready to embrace future concepts of urban living.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Our original premise was to approach the main topics of adaptability and urban rhythms with the help of exchangeable chronograms. This led us to a solution of periodic / varying use types. We looked for hybrid structures, which allowed this variety of uses, but we realized that the particular context was unknown and distant for us and we could fall in the same contradiction of functional determinism as the modern movement. Consequently we radically changed our project strategy. The context of the site has a wide programmatic network, derived from its urban centre condition, but it lacks adequate spatial structures to optimize its resources. As a result we focused on the qualification of spaces, starting with the existing architecture and how it connects with its environment.
4. Have you already treated this issue previously and could you present some reference projects that inspired yours?
We are currently working in the reactivation of degraded neighbourhoods on the suburbs of Alicante. Our city, like many other, suffered a violent process of growth from the 50’s, due to internal de-ruralization and the process of mass tourism due to a growing economy in the 60’s. This transformative reality was reflected in the collapse of the coast and suburbs full of great rationalist constructions. These buildings were born under a rampant speculation without an appropriate urban plan.
The neighbourhoods with the most vulnerable social fabric are the ones that generally suffered most during the economic downturn. Our references have been many, but we might highlight among others the work of Druot, Lacaton & Vassal in Plus, the radical transformations of residential blocks by Lucien Kroll, or the rehabilitation of Park Hill in Sheffield.
5. Today –within the era of an economic crisis and sustainability– the urban-architectural project should reconsider its production method in time; how did you integrate this issue in your project?
Nowadays we have more resources to use than in the past, but we still fail to use these resources’ creativity. For us, the present offers the possibility to design cities with a greater level of political equality. If today we could sign a new Athens Charter for the New Urban Principles, it would not be on board the Patris II (CIAM IV), but probably in the proximities of the Syntagma Square. And for sure, these new principles would take under consideration the citizen participation, the sustainability, the politic, public spending, the collective memory, the diversity or the value of the marginal. An important point of the project was to understand that urban transformations have to be done under consensus and they should be slow and small processes. Social cohesion and the strengthening of the sense of identity are the premises for the social sustainability, a vital point for the future and success of the project.
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's our first Europan. We believe that the Europan competition is a platform with a lot of media repercussion in the architectural field and a reference in urban and political discussions of the moment. For us, it is a motivational engine to continue working together and we hope to keep doing it much longer.