Ideas, strategies and projects that give rise to pilot projects. They tackle the challenges raised by the stakeholders involved and which are found in particular places in Barcelona or Medellín.
Madrid, Barcelona, New York, Bombay and Milan are cities whose centres have lost their ideal living conditions but offer a physical fabric on which to act that is full of architectural interest. These complexes of obsolete building need a second chance to find their calling. For these enclaves, we propose what we call “typological corrections”, creating a space to give the architecture project contents that are critical of certain clichés and supposedly new features. The built city is the support for this task and, acting on urban systems and existing buildings, we address issues such as re-programming, re-densifying, re-scaling, re-living, etc. In short, the aim is to re-cycle small urban fragments that have sufficient programmatic richness to become scale parts capable of altering the city’s system of centres of gravity.
This academic research, ongoing since 2008 under the direction of Juan Herreros in the Final Year Project course at the ETSAM and the Advanced Studios at the University of Columbia School of Architecture, sets out to review the design techniques used to conceive and plan the city’s collective housing. We are looking for recognition of a new sensibility that involves a revision of traditional paradigms, with the aim of redefining and intensifying what we understand by quality of life in the light of new emerging concerns, such as indeterminacy, diversity, sustainability, etc., and the associated aesthetic experiences. The objective is, in short, to understand that as an urban model the compact city can offer everything that is asked of it and remain relevant to all social groups, especially in times of crisis.
An analysis and description of the starting conditions and an understanding of the relation between architecture and social, technical, economic, political and cultural coordinates are a vital part of these proposals, and their representation is a key factor in the working methodology we aim to transmit. Work also centred on the relations between scale, quantity of architecture and capacity to accommodate very different forms of use, especially the necessary dialogue between those already established and those yet to come.