Comments: (0)

Un nuevo frente marítimo para Palma de Mallorca

Category: ⚐ ES+espacio público+sostenibilidad+urbanismo

En 2018, la ciudad de Palma de Mallorca se propuso reformar su paseo marítimo frente a la zona portuaria, y convocó un concurso abierto para ello. Hoy os contamos algunos detalles sobre nuestra propuesta, que quedó finalista.

El reto consiste, principalmente, convertir lo que ahora es una barrera, un borde, en un nuevo espacio urbano que conecte la ciudad con el puerto. Nosotros proponemos una transición en la forma de entender ese espacio público, desde concebirlo como un “paseo” lineal a verlo como un “frente” marítimo más amplio, un lugar donde la ciudad pueda expandir sus usos actuales y descubrir otros nuevos.

La propuesta es crear un espacio con nuevas cualidades, un eje cívico donde la ciudad pueda ver reflejada su identidad, aportando representatividad y, sobre todo, añadiendo a ese espacio valor de uso para ciudadanos y visitantes. No se trata, por tanto, solamente de un proyecto de pacificación del tráfico y renaturalización, sino de caracterización y activación.

El enfoque general del proyecto se puede desglosar en una serie de criterios o líneas de actuación. Estas líneas se han agrupado en cuatro “frentes” (integrado, ambiental, activo y conectado) entendidos como capas del frente costero que sintetizan las prioridades de la propuesta e ilustran la visión de la ciudad que la sustenta.


continue reading

Comments: (0)

Febres Cordero | A new hybrid building in the historic center of Cuenca

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+ecosistema urbano+mixed-use building+sustainability

Vista aerea febres

The Febres Cordero building was developed within the scope of CUENCA RED, the urban reactivation strategy for Cuenca, Ecuador. The aim of Cuenca Red was to incorporate activities and programs in the Historic Center in order to create a new network of reactivated public spaces. One of those spaces is Febres Cordero, an emblematic and historical building which had functioned as a school for decades.

This building has great heritage value and has one of the largest courtyards of the entire historic center (3,300 m2). It is located on Gran Colombia Street, right next to the tram line. It is comprised of two main volumes, one of them  with much less quality and architectural interest.

The building was going to stop its activities within a few months of the beginning of the project, as the school was going to be relocated into a new building. Also, the school has been an important node of social and economic activity for years on the area. This large community injects daily activity into the center of Cuenca.

Fachada Exterior Febres Cordero

Activity from the beginning

One key aspect of the project was not only to design a building with new uses and programs, but also to plan the transition process between one moment and the other. We conceived the project from its Phase 0, in order to unleash, through different actions and activities, dynamism and interest in the future of the building and its interior space.

Space is activated from the beginning, dividing the construction into 3 phasesThe project is planned in 3 phases. The first one is really important, consisting of the opening and reactivation of the central courtyard as a public space for events and activities. This phase is esentially low cost, but its implementation will have a strong impact in keeping momentum and activity around the area, and also generating interest and expectations around the building. Subsequently, the reconditioning and construction of the building will be carried out, and finally the climatic conditioning of the new interior square.

In search of new uses

Following our conclusions of the urban analysis, we noted the progressive emptying of housing in the Historic Center of Cuenca. Although the center still continues to be an active space for tourism and commercial activity, the number of residents is decreasing, moving towards the perimeter of the city center.

This is certainly a problem, especially in the afternoon or the evening, when the shops and offices close, and the lack of activity and people in the area becomes more evident. That emptiness generates unfavorable conditions, like sense of insecurity, or an increase in the number of abandoned or underused properties.

FebresCordero_01

Current status of the interior patio of the Febres Cordero School in Cuenca, Ecuador.In this complex context we identified, through a participatory process partly hosted in the school itself, the need of strengthening the resident population living in the center of Cuenca. It was also key to generate conditions for other families to consider attractive and feasible to live there. The inhabitants of the CHC and technicians who participated in the participatory process agree that the building has optimal conditions to become a new “catalyst” of the city. The Febres Cordero building can be reconstructed as a pilot project that will address many of the opportunities and challenges shared with other historic centers in Latin America.

L1069463

Participatory activities carried out with the students of the Febres Cordero School

A hybrid architectural complex

Febres Cordero does not only house a school, but also commercial premises along the ground floor. The project aims to enhance this aspect, creating a hybrid building capable of bringing together different programs, generating a diverse community that serves as a reference for social and economically sustainable urban intervention.

The rehabilitation of the Febres School seeks three main goals, as steps towards the improvement of the Historic Center:

  • Increasing the extension of public spaces in the area
  • Providing diverse housing typologies (including social housing)
  • Generating a new heart of urban activity through the insertion of new facilities.

Hybrid program of the new complex

To achieve this, Febres Cordero comprises 3 components:

  • Rehabilitation of the existing heritage building (4.500 m2) with new apartments, students dormitory, commercial ground floor, common workspaces, rest area and an elevated outdoor public space.
  • Construction of a new building (5.000 m2) on the surface freed by the demolition of the unprotected building. It is mainly residential and will also have a series of additional services and facilities that are of a public nature and therefore accessible to the rest of the inhabitants of the complex.
  • Reconfiguration of the inner courtyard as a new public square for the city (3.300 m2).
ESTRATEGIAS FEBRES

The new building is connected to the heritage building by corridors

A new public square

The courtyard is conceived as a new public square for the city. It recovers the entrances from the 3 adjacent roads and generates an active and attractive, programmable public space. The ground floor will be adapted to reinforce this idea, promoting permeability and the visual connection between the streets and the courtyard.

3-accesos-Febres

New public square, with 3 entrances from the surrounding streets

The proposed square includes two conditions: a flexible space with a mobile grandstand that allows the creation of different configurations for cultural and sport events, and a more natural space, a cuencan garden inspired by the multiple existing green patios that together create a network of vegetation and biodiversity in the historic center.

Respecting heritage

We are aware of the historical value of a building like this. After a careful study of the history, typology, and construction of the building (built around 1900), the intervention was designed to preserve and respect its historical value and at the same time to introduce new structures to diversify the possibilities of use and adapt it to the evolving urban context.

The intervention respects and seeks to value the intrinsic qualities of the building, and also wants to create a dialogue with the most innovative construction techniques.

TOMO 2.pdf

View of the new public space with the mixed-use building connected to the old Febres Cordero School.

Sección Transversal de la Escuela Febres Cordero

Cross section. A relationship between the new mixed building (left), the public square (center), and the heritage building (center and right).

gif_plantasFC

Architectural plans of the refurbished complex.The main strategy consists of concentrating the utilities or technical systems of the apartments in spines perpendicular to the façade line. This way we can  to minimize the impact on the façade and generate cross ventilation in all the rooms. The exterior façade is not altered by any of the interior interventions and will preserve its current structure and image towards.

On the other hand, the roof was in poor condition. Activating the space under the roof with the creation of a new housing ring towards the interior of the patio enabled us to expand the useful surface without impacting the building on its exterior appearance and its relationship with the public road.

Maximum sustainability

In a project as ambitious as Febres Cordero, the most appropriate technical mechanisms must be sought to achieve maximum economic, social and environmental sustainability. The final design and construction systems were devised under the following sustainability criteria: following bioclimatic design principles for better energy efficiency, adopting local materials and construction techniques to improve durability, and considering the economic impact of the construction at a local level.

Estrategia-habitacional-01

Adaptation of housing typologies to the structural modules in the heritage building.

Comportamiento bioclimático Febres Cordero

Basic outline of the bioclimatic behavior.

The rehabilitation of Febres Cordero is also conceived to be financially sustainable, allowing a short-term return of the investment with the sale and lease of housing and commercial premises, and with the generation of new economies in the urban area.

In general, this rehabilitation project, a pilot within the general Cuenca Red plan, will increase the intensity of use, the possibilities of social interaction and the generation of economies that contribute to the long-term sustainability of the historic center.

You can see the full documents of this project in our portfolio.

Comments: (0)

A starting point: Banco de Ideas as an activator of the Hermosillo center

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+ecosistema urbano+mixed-use building+sustainability+urbanism

In a previous post, we shared the general approach for the Revitalization Plan of the historical center of Hermosillo. Pointing out how a strategic-tactical approach can contribute to transforming the city.

As we are focusing this month on hybrid buildings and urban catalysts, we want to take a closer look into one of the key sub-projects of the Plan Idea Hermosillo: the Banco de Ideas (Bank of Ideas).

Identifying an opportunity for activation

During the mapping process of the historical center, both in the on-site surveys and in the participatory meetings and workshops, one of the locations began to stand out as a key spot in the project’s approach: the Banco de Ropa (bank of clothes), a two-storey building used by a local NGO as a collection, storage and re-distribution point for second-hand clothes.

General view of the location of the Banco de Ideas and its surroundings, as seen from Cerro de la Campana. Historic Center of Hermosillo, Mexico. Ecosistema Urbano.

General view of the location of the Banco de Ideas and its surroundings, as seen from Cerro de la Campana.

View of the Banco de Ropa from the No Reelección Avenue, and current façade seen from Avda. Obregón. Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

View of the Banco de Ropa from the No Reelección Avenue, and current façade seen from Avda. Obregón.

Many of the ingredients needed to launch an urban activation project are present on the Banco de Ropa:

  • It is strategically located in the center of the intervention area (see map). On the main street, near an important intersection and with direct views of the Cerro de la Campana. This location gives the project an excellent level of visibility and maximizes its potential impact on the urban center.
  • It presents an interesting combination of building and public space. Two of its facades, equipped with large sliding doors, face different streets, one of them with a small square in front. Right next to it, there is a vacant lot currently used as a parking lot. This combination of spaces creates the ideal situation to experiment with interior and exterior urban interventions.
  • The size of the building—around 1,700 m2—and of the surrounding spaces are also ideal, keeping the intervention in an affordable range but allowing a significant level of impact to be achieved in its surroundings.
  • The building is the only public property in the area, which enables some approaches that would not have been possible on a privately owned lot.
  • Transferring the existing use—as a clothing ban—to another location was deemed feasible and even desirable.
  • During the workshops and meetings, several local agents expressed their interest in taking part in the activation of the Banco de Ideas from the socio-cultural and business side. The building is seen as a possible hub for entrepreneurship, gastronomy, and technology, incorporating an educational component in its core.
  • The building’s general construction quality is relatively low, but on the other hand offers great potential for reconversion, being able to function as a large container of activities.

All these factors give this location a great potential for transformation and positive impact on the environment. They enable the ability to activate spaces, attract people and become the first step towards the revitalization of the historical center.

This is why this location was chosen as the main intervention of the Plan Idea Hermosillo, being developed as the “Banco de Ideas” Pilot Project.

The Banco de Ideas as an urban catalyst

The name and identity of the Banco de Ideas establish a link between its current use as a clothing bank and future use as a cultural, social and economic incubator. It is a space of exploration, a place capable of kick-starting the social, cultural and economic activation of the area. Capable of functioning as a collaborative “kitchen” in which the city and the neighborhood can experience new activities and ways of organizing themselves, and launch initiatives that improve the quality of life.

This is the role of an urban catalyst: to be one of the first steps on the long process of revitalization of an area of the city. The aim is to create a public and open place that would become a new node of activity, achieving a high impact without consuming excessive economic resources.

Diversifying uses

One of the first considerations when conceiving a new urban space like this one is the incorporation of new uses and programmes that will guarantee its transformation into an attractor of activity.

Many of the proposals emerged during the participation process with different stakeholders. The activities also served to identify the people or groups that could be involved in the subsequent management of the space. The uses and programmes that were identified as relevant for the reconversion of the building included gastronomy, culture, and heritage, entrepreneurship, education, new technologies and sport.

Key themes and activities identified around the Banco de Ideas. Hermosillo, Sonora, México. Ecosistema Urbano.

Key themes and activities identified around the Banco de Ideas.

Maximize the relationship with the environment

The Banco de Ideas building is a visual reference for the entire area because of its solid volume and height. It can clearly be seen from the Cerro de la Campana. However, given the importance of its integration into the urban context, the intervention cannot be restricted to an isolated architectural project: it needs to engage with the surrounding environment.

In the adjacent outdoor spaces (the small square on Obregón Avenue and streets) interventions are proposed in order to improve usability, comfort, attractiveness and general quality of the space.

The Banco de Ideas and its surroundings as hubs for new uses. Hermosillo, Sonora, México. Ecosistema Urbano

The Banco de Ideas and its surroundings as hubs for new uses.

The location of the building (right next to a public parking lot surrounded by a historic façade) allows for the creation of a unique combination of interior and exterior spaces. The parking lot is incorporated as a temporary expansion space in the moments of low usage, making it possible for the Banco de Ideas to also program outdoor activities.

The four large opposite entrances facilitate themovement of people, furniture and large objects, and provide physical and visual connection through the building.

The project

The concept of an urban catalyst is translated as a hybrid building (see more examples), capable of hosting a wide variety of uses. This building typology lies halfway between the closed and the open, the public and the private, the physical and the digital.

Axonometries showing elements to be demolished (red) and to be added (green) to the Banco de Ideas. Hermosillo, Sonora, México. Ecosistema Urbano

Axonometries showing elements to be demolished (red) and to be added (green) to the Banco de Ideas.

The project is based on the existing building, modifying it according to six key principles: the creation of multifunctional spaces, the connection of interior spaces with surrounding public spaces, the improvement of its climatic comfort by bioclimatic design, the integration of new facilities and technologies to prepare it for innovative uses, the creation of an open and inclusive management system, and the extension of opening hours to create an almost 24/7 facility.

Explanatory diagrams of the main concepts behind the proposal for the Banco de Ideas. Hermosillo, Sonora, México. Ecosistema Urbano.

Explanatory diagrams of the main concepts behind the proposal for the Banco de Ideas.

Inside the building, the intervention focuses on improvements that will allow new programmes and increase comfort: more natural lighting and ventilation, an adaptation of the space to new needs, improved accessibility, modernization of basic infrastructures, improvements in the perception of the space, etc.

A central patio combines vertical communications, lighting and ventilation. Three open floors are created, with a flexible distribution aided by furniture and light walls.

Plant and section of the proposal. Hermosillo, Sonora, México - Ecosistema Urbano

Plant and section of the proposal.

A key action for the renovation of the building is the addition o a new façace, made with light structures and semi-opaque textiles over the existing façace. Its design allows, on one hand, to protect the structure and the main enclosure of the building from direct solar radiation, improving its climatic behavior. On the other hand, brings a renovated image to the building while maintaining part of its previous shape.

Image of the building and the surrounding spaces from the outside. Banco de Ideas de Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Ecosistema Urbano.

Image of the building and the surrounding spaces from the outside.

The key to a sustainable management

One of the main challenges is related to the reactivation and management model of the Banco de Ropa building. Improving its physical appearance or incorporating new programmes is not enough. The real challenge is to develop an ad-hoc management model that guarantees its economic feasibility and at the same time promotes its use as a public facility.

This is why it is necessary to have the support of different urban stakeholders (private entrepreneurs, civic associations, local institutions, foundations, NGO’s, volunteers, etc.) organized in an administrative and consultive committee, and a civic board that will operate the Banco de Ideas in its day to day functioning.

The public sector will provide the building on a concession basis and will provide resources for the initial materialization of the physical infrastructure. At the same time, it will facilitate its management and operation with the other public agencies involved.

Profiles identified with a view to the co-management of the Banco de Ideas.. Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Ecosistema Urbano.

Profiles identified for the co-management of the Banco de Ideas.

This management model is based on good practices from different parts of the world, such as Estación Indianilla (CDMX, Mexico), Cascina Cuccagna (Milan, Italy), Infante 1415 (Santiago, Chile), Chapitô (Lisbon, Portugal) or the Scuola Open Source (Bari, Italy).

The aim is making the Banco de Ideas a self-sufficient project that generates its own economy and activity.

If you want to know more about this project, we recommend you to check the Plan Idea Hermosillo, and the document with the proposal for the Banco de Ideas, which you can read below: