1st PRIZE – Urban renovation competition in Almansa (Albacete) 2018
SSS + COAUTHORS:
Ángel Fito, Architect
An urban corridor to the castle of Almansa
The city of Almansa always looks towards its castle, because in it is its genesis and its future. In the urban future of the city, the castle will not be just a symbol, or a monument to contemplate on the hill of the Eagle, static and timeless. But it must be conceived as a latent heart with its almond shape towards where all the natural lines of movement of the city are directed.
Thus, with this vision we project an urban corridor that is born at the northwest gates of the city and enters it until reaching the Puerta de Poniente of the castle. But until then, the sinuous urban corridor constructs new spaces for the city, spaces full of vegetation, sunny and friendly with the pedestrian. These three urban strategies are the conceptual basis of our project for the regeneration of the city of Almansa.
THREE URBAN REGENERATION STRATEGIES for the urban center of Almansa
From the beginning of Campos Street begins a lush linear garden of 350 meters in length, wide until it reaches the surroundings of the Duque de Alba school where it narrows to turn on Calle Federico García Lorca. Here the space becomes wider again, and we transform it into an elongated square where the Coliseum Cinema looms and extends along Duque de la Victoria Street. Here the corridor bifurcates into two branches that flow into Plaza Santa María, a beautiful funnel space that leads you to the foot of the Puerta de Poniente.
Friendly city with pedestrian
A fully accessible, continuous urban plan is proposed without any grading steps or steps or curbs. We project an urban space directed to the pedestrian, where the walkers flow without obstacles, the children play without danger and the elderly converse in the shade of the trees in a quiet street.
All the new squares and gardens are projected on the sunny sides of the streets. The trees, the benches, the children’s games and the terraces are arranged under the southern sun. On the other side, in shadow a sidewalk, and between these spaces the lane of vehicles that always circulate in one direction.
1st PRIZE Alumed-Strong Contest 2017
1st Prize to SSS in the contest of ideas called by ALUMED-STRONG for design of SOCIAL HOUSING in an area of TROPICAL AFRICA.
The jury unanimously decided to highlight the proposal presented by SSS “for the response it brings to an urban reality of large African cities. It proposes a very simple typology, by the configuration in parallel bands that brings, through the galleries, a wide spatial, functional and climatic wealth. In turn, it allows versatility through the variation of the building type”.
GHANA, ACCRA, NIMA
The Republic of Ghana is one of the most prosperous and stable countries in West Africa. In 2011 it was the country that grew the most in the world after Qatar. This year, its economy grows to 6% and forecasts for 2018 are 6.2% according to the IMF. In the last five years, the country’s population has grown by 2.6 million people, and will continue to grow at a dizzying rate of 3%, the same growth rate as its urban population, which is 50% of the total. For these reasons we look at Ghana, a country where freedom, progress and democracy are breathed, and there is oil. BUT ALSO BECAUSE THERE ARE 2 MILLION INFRASTRUCTURES OR 30% OF THEIR POPULATION LIVES UNDER THE THRESHOLD OF POVERTY, among others.
Migration from the countryside to the city in the Accra Region (The Greater Accra), has been and is being massive. Soon, this mega city will contain 20% of the country’s population: 4 million people. And the destination of the migrated are the extensive settlements of the periphery or informal coastal neighborhoods like James Town or compact neighborhoods in the center of the city like Nima. The Greater Accra is a model of a young African megalopolis that needs new approaches to urban densification and new large-scale social housing policies. This is why we are in the city of Accra.
One of the most populous neighborhoods in Accra is Nima. It is a place of inhabitants migrated from the countryside, of high density, high-density, very low and very compact, where about 30,000 people live in just 1 km2. It is a very vital but poor place and affected by chronic urban degradation. The urban regeneration of this area is our starting point and the ultimate goal of our proposal in this contest.
The urban project we propose requires public investment and private initiative, something similar to the phenomenon of “gentrification” in Anglo-Saxon countries, or the “machizukuri” planning figure in the Far East countries, or “urban acupuncture” in Latin America. All of them are strategies of urban regeneration of consolidated and deteriorated neighborhoods in the big cities, rich and poor, on the one hand based on creating new public spaces to oxygenate and decongest the urban fabric, and on the other, increase the density of buildings in certain well connected areas.
The urban regeneration in the Nima neighborhood consist of two large operations: opening small public spaces connected to one another by expropriating certain areas of the fabric and densifying the edges of the main artery of the neighborhood (Nima Road) providing a large percentage of the land to social housing or rehousing, which is fundamentally the subject of this contest.
The densification at the edges of the commercial corridor Nima Road will build a more urban and profitable city. It is about taking advantage of the natural vitality of this artery that crosses the neighborhood from end to end and multiply its intensity, and in this way create more space and better connected inside the African city.
The architecture of social housing must be modular and flexible. If it is, it will accommodate the masses and build a spatial identity of its own over time. For this we propose a modular skeleton (Stands) based on walls and concrete slabs assembled with aluminum formwork of the STRONG FORM AND / OR ALUMED system, and a set of adaptable light elements (Skins) that will condition the modular space depending on the Orientation of the building, its urban position and the needs of the real estate market. Modular supports and flexible skins are the two elements that build our project.
The tropical climate forces the air currents to cross the spaces to increase the thermal comfort. High temperatures and relative humidity are combated with shaded spaces, lattices and solar protections and cross ventilation. The dwelling in the tropics should be a space between the exterior and the interior, a space in shaded and airy where to spend the torrid and endless tropical summers and covered with the rainfall of the monsoon.
URBAN COMPETITION WINNER
City park system. Alcantarilla. Murcia (2008)
El gran vacío urbano que surge de liberar el espacio invadido por las vías de tren se enlaza con el recuperado y frondoso bosque de ribera del río Segura, para crear así un recorrido tan variado y rico como saludable. Espacio urbano y espacio natural unidos por un hilo de carril bici. En uno, un pavimento continuo salpicado de pequeños parques, en otro, un suelo rico en nutrientes y lleno de vida salvaje. Una ciudad ideal que podría ser real. Y dentro de esas dos bolsas los equipamientos que convengan: una heladería a la salida del colegio, una auditorio inmerso bajo un bosque de Olmos de Ribera, unos cuantos puestos del mercado de los viernes junto a la calle comercial o un centro deportivo animado por las acrobacias imposibles de los Mitos.
Frente a la idea de recuperar el parque de ribera original, creando un parque pintoresco y bucólico donde la vegetación autóctona es la principal protagonista, el área del Parque Lineal se resuelve teniendo en cuenta el carácter urbano que éste tiene por su relación tan directa con la ciudad. Un gran vacío urbano se reinterpreta y se ocupa por los usos que los vecinos necesitan para una relación y convivencia satisfactoria: deporte, juegos educación, cultura y comercio se mezclan dando sentido a un espacio antes vacío.
Recorrido tráfico rodado
El perímetro de la actuación se acondiciona para la circulación de vehículos. Las calles que actualmente acaban en cul de sac estarán atadas por un recorrido que permitirá una mayor fluidez del tráfico, el acceso a los equipamientos, el reparto de mercancías, etc. Apoyando este recorrido se proyectan bolsas de aparcamiento al exterior que resuelvan el aparcamiento tanto de las viviendas vecinas como de los visitantes de los equipamientos.
Se resuelve toda la intervención del parque líneal con hormigón vertido in situ. Esta lámina dura se extenderá adaptándose suavemente a la topografía existente creando recorridos alternativos cuyas superficies no superen pendientes del 6%. El acceso a cualquier punto del parque y sus equipamientos, incluso sobre ruedas, será cómodo para toda persona.
El recorrido peatonal y ciclista se desdobla en dos líneas paralelas para el área del Bosque de Ribera. Una de hormigón y otra de zahorra permitirá que el ciclista y el peatón elijan que superficie se adapta mejor a sus deseos para recorrerlo.
ASCER AWARDS WINNER 2008
Urban renovation. Burriana, Castellón. Spain. (2007)
Ceramic is brightness and color. We worked with Toni Cumella, a long family tradition ceramist, to bring shine and color to the city.
The project dives the walker into a tunnel of bright colors, into a kind of multicolor canyon built by tiny crystalline cobbles.
Six colour cobbles. Toni Cumella ceramist atelier.
Handcraft placement ceramic tile
It remembers to the master builder Barragan´s atmospheric and chromatic architecture. From him we think that came our inspiration.
Six coloured streetscape. Some pics:
Summer festival 2015.
Urban waterfront. Asunción. Paraguay. (2010)
Four streets begin at Bicentennial Park and temporarily end up in General Santos Avenue, the last of the big toes that structure the Great Asuncion.
This structure of wide streets continue along the coast of Asuncion, accompanying the construction of the Costanera Avenue, bordering the Pytá lagoon, crossing the creek Mburicao to the Botanical Garden to connect with the Transchaco route; thus completing a coastal tour of 8700 meters.
Block of Flats