Archinauts of the cosmoroute: Itinerat Critic Observatory
Case study: Spanish BOOM ruins
A project by: Victor Cano Ciborro + Alejandro Burgueño + José de Andrés + Ana Sabugo + José Javier Cullen + Rocío Romero
WINNER PROJECT - AWARDED BY SPANISH PAVILION OF VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE 2016
︎ (es) Acta Jurado Pabellón de España
︎ (es) Publicación prensa 'Diario de Avisos'.
︎ (es) Publicación prensa 'ElMundo'.
- Exhibition site: Giardini della Biennale di Venezia - Spanish Pavilion
- 26 May - 27 Nov 2016 at Biennale Architettura 2016 - La Biennale di Venezia
- Publication: UNFINISHED_Catalogue, Spanish Pavilion, Biennale Architettura 2016 - ISBN: 978-84-608-7088-3
Observatorio Crítico Itinerante. Arquinautas de la Cosmopista
- Background: In February 1973 –and along two weeks- a double-decker bus was transformed into a traveling and audiovisual library thanks to the different architecture schools in UK. The project, carried out by the AA, was inspired in the concept of POLYARK regarding the idea of Cedric Price about a collaborative net for knowledge and awareness.
May 23, 1982. Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop drove their Volkswagen Combi for a month through the Paris-Marseille highway under the premise of not leaving that road. As a result, they discovered all the minor issues of the territory and collected them in the book ‘Autonauts of the Cosmoroute’.
In 1997 the "Housing bubble in Spain" arose and the wild speculation caused the disappearance of an aesthetic and ethical sense in the dynamics of construction.
In 2007 the bubble bursted causing a devastating housing crisis, the economic rescue of the savings banks, the increase of the evictions and the destruction of both natural and human ecosystems.
In 2015 an interview of Pascal Gielen to Rem Koolhaas was published in the exhibition catalogue of "Constant. New Babylon". The Dutch architect states that ‘the matter is not about bringing use to a project, but to tell stories.’
- Current situation - LIMBO SPACE: The "Unfinished" is synonymous with pure uncertainty, or as Cedric Price could say, a "Limbo Space". In these areas, according to the British architect, the most intense moment of the architecture takes place, since the essence of architecture is no longer laying in a stable construction, well defined and with specific programs, but rather through unstable situations that are inhabited by underling characters out of all standard, cliché or economic role.
In the "Unfinished", the stakeholders no longer ask themselves what is imposed or what is planned, but What are the aesthetics of the limbo? Who lives in the limbo? What are their lifestyles?
- Detection - Action: In 2016 the construction industry begins to revive and the "aesthetics of the post-bubble" do not respond to a change of paradigm. In this context, a project arises to make the agents involved in the unfinished state of the Spanish housing and infraestructure VIEW, EXPERIMENT and LEARN FROM THEIR BODIES the scenario caused by themselves. Thus, rather than promoting a specific action, this project is positioned in a previous state where there is no big interest in seeking a "happy end" to these "Unfinished" territories, but in knowing how to shape the needs of the people out of any design pattern.
- Proposal: An ITINERANT AND CRITICAL OBSERVATORY is proposed conformed by the Involved Agents: Developers, builders, lawyers, politicians and architects, who will travel in transport systems -with an oniric-satiric-critical design- to the ‘Unfinished’. The aim is to sensitize -from the very same skin- to rethink new urban plans, laws, construction and / or lifestyles.
This program of critical mobility will travel through 12 "Limbo Spaces" of the Spanish territory divided into three observatories:
1_ Critical maritime Observatory: To study the coasts, the watersheds, the shores and the other natural assets and protected lands that they have been silted by mass tourism.
2_ Critical road Observatory: To check out the periphery of the sui generis stories embodied by a population with forced aesthetics and culture to adopt ways of life imposed by promoters, regulations and formal abstractions.
3_ Critical flying Observatory: To be aware of how the fertile territories have become obsolete by the existence of infrastructure that did not respond to real users’ needs.
︎ VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE 2016- SPANISH PAVILION
︎ unfinished.es Spanish Pavilion official website
︎ ‘Unfinished’ exhibition teaser video
Spain is one of the countries where the practice of architecture has been most affected by the economic crisis. There are few places on earth where such large numbers of buildings were built in such a short period of time. The lack of reflection over whether these projects were necessary or valid resulted in the subsequent abandonment of many buildings when their completion or maintenance was discovered not to be economically viable. Their appearance throughout Spanish territories has generated a collection of unfinished buildings where the factor of time was eliminated from the formula for making architecture.
The ¨Unfinished¨ exhibition, presented in the Spanish pavilion at the Biennale, seeks to direct attention to processes more than results in an attempt to discover design strategies generated by an optimistic view of the constructed environment.
The exhibition gathers examples of architecture produced during the past few years, born out of renunciation and economy of means, designed to evolve and adapt to future necessities and trusting in the beauty conferred by the passage of time. These projects have understood the lessons of the recent past and consider architecture to be something unfinished, in a constant state of evolution and truly in the service of humanity. The current moment of uncertainty in our profession makes its consideration here especially relevant.