Elche, Spain

Urban Sponge XL

The boundary between the city and the countryside. Where artificial meets natural. A context characterized by the accumulation of engrossed malls that reject any relation with the outside. Can we avoid the contemporary ‘tragedy’? Only being as radical as the reality around us.

It makes no sense to fight the mall. But what does make sense is to reinvent it and use it as a tool capable of generating benefits for our cities. We imagine a superstructure that flies over the territory and rests only on four points of the ground, coinciding with the existing malls. In this way we intensify the contact area with the ground and minimize the footprint of the superstructure. The volume of the piece adapts to the limits of the natural terrain that we understand as ‘threatened’, and becomes porous by opening spherical holes of different sizes. The resulting spongy volume provides an interior-exterior relationship that breaks with the traditional scheme of the mall-container, and defines spaces with an urban and Mediterranean character. The porous condition allows the infrastructure to breath, using atriums as green lungs and transport nodes. The diameter and position of the holes respond to parameters of sunlight, ventilation, visuals, and program requirements. Finally, we imagine an emotional urbanism characterized by the incorporation into the space of sensitive information (sounds, smells, textures…).

Year: 2013
Co-authors: Javier Campoy, Miguel Manzano, Victoria Romero, Inma Torregrosa
Exhibitions: MUA Museum (Alicante, Spain; June 2013); L’Escorxador Cultural Center (Elche, Spain; July 2013).

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

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Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

 

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL

Urban Sponge XL