Juan F. De la Torre
FESTIVAL / EVENT
MITMA Gobierno de España, Fundación Arquia, Ayuntamiento Valencia, Las Naves
Installations & Structures, Cultural Center
Mediterranean, the Manuel Bouzas pavilion for the second edition of the TAC! Urban architecture festival in Valencia.
Mediterranean is a tribute to the Mediterranean blind, a mechanism that has allowed for centuries the adaptation of spaces inhabited by humans to inclement weather, offering an effective, simple, and lightweight solution to combat high temperatures.
The pavilion is conceived as an urban blind, which, instead of protecting a window, covers an entire square, and instead of sheltering a single individual, gathers an entire community.
From September 25th to October 16th, numerous activities have taken place under this large suspended shade, reactivating the square and returning it to the public scene.
The project by architect Manuel Bouzas was the winner of the ideas competition for this edition, open to young professionals, to which 125 projects were submitted.
TAC! Urban Architecture Festival is an initiative driven by the General Secretariat of Urban Agenda, Housing and Architecture of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) and the Arquia Foundation, whose main objective is to make young architecture relevant in Spain, offering the opportunity to build a reference public work in the form of a temporary pavilion.
A TRIBUTE TO THE MEDITERRANEAN BLIND
The blind is more than an architectural element, it is a cultural symbol. It consists of a very particular response to a very particular climate.
Therefore, it is no coincidence that numerous cities in southern Europe that share climate and sometimes the sea have adopted this solution to protect themselves from high temperatures.
This explains why in Spain we know them as "alicantinas", and in Italy as "Venetians". However, with the emergence of mechanical systems that allow climate control, such as air conditioning or fans, they have fallen into disuse.
In the current context of climate and energy crisis, it is advisable to review the environmental impact of the spaces we inhabit. Effects range from the energy consumption of our homes to the emissions resulting from the extraction of the materials we use.
The project is located in Plaza Músico López Chavarri, in the historic Carmen neighborhood. The square is not a "designed" or "planned" space, but rather the result of the demolition of a previous residential building.
Perhaps that explains the deficiencies of the place; the lack of shade, furniture, vegetation, and water. It is a space where people pass through but do not stay.
On the balconies of the surrounding buildings, you can see the number of posters from neighbors demanding an alternative future for the square. The installation is structured in two triangular wooden portals that allow a long Alicante blind, also made of wood, to be hung in the form of a catenary. The dark green color responds to one of the five traditional colors in which blinds are made in this region.
A circular opening in the roof illuminates a small interior garden, built with vegetation and soil from the site itself, which helps to temper the end-of-summer climate.
A series of stones, which also serve as counterweights, act as furniture to gather people.
The torn shade it projects allows for an "al fresco" public space, where the TAC! programming took place for a whole month.
Almost the entire pavilion is built with pre-industrial, natural, and zero-kilometer materials, with local labor.
In this way, the wooden structure connects us with the pine forests in Soria, the blinds with the town of Sax, in Alicante, and the stones with the quarries of Teruel, promoting the local economy of the region in which it is located.
The pavilion is constructed using pre-assembled modules in the workshop, thus reducing costs, deadlines, and risks.
For its deconstruction, the recycling of its elements has been considered at all times:
wood that returns to the industry, stones that return to the quarry, and blinds that are donated to the community of neighbors.
From September 25th to October 16th, the pavilion hosted a program of free activities organized by the Ajuntament de València and Las Naves that brought together the diversity of the Valencian creative and social fabric.
A total of twenty activities highlighted València as a place for creativity and design, showcasing the potential of this pavilion to accommodate innovation and citizen excellence.