ARCH 4101/4102/5101/7112
On Continuity

Block-shaped concrete building, utility pole, and wires.

photo / Humberto Rivas

A novel can start with an image, the memory of a moment, or some experienced feelings. In a similar way, an architecture project may start with a fragment, with a detail of a wall, with light defining a place, or with the experience of material aging.

This Option Studio will investigate those topics applied to relevant industrial architectures in Barcelona. The work will look for fragments, spaces, materials, or atmospheres that can support new narratives for sites that at once defined the essential character of the city, but which progressively have become less relevant or even vacant.

Starting with those generative fragments, and by developing a project for an artist residency, the studio will also investigate how to create new active civic and public conditions to preserve and accentuate the character of the original architectures and places.

Interventions such as extensions, new additions, reuse, or transformations in critical adjacency with the pre-existing fabrics will be used to generate architecture. Those will work in continuity with a built landscape by highlighting the specificity and the uniqueness of the place but being also able to create new public, social, and urban scenarios. The project should articulate an intimate relationship with the specifics of the site and resonate with a particular feeling of belonging to the original pre-existence.

Many of Barcelona’s 19th century industrial sites have already disappeared; others will follow or will be transformed without keeping attention on their identity and character. Such disruptive process, noticeable in many other cities too, is going to homogenize the urban landscape and remove the richness and singularity of a very relevant layer of our cities’ recent history.

Nevertheless, the insertion of new arts and cultural activities in those locations has been, in some cases, an efficient tool for renovation, giving back their certain urban relevance.

Intimacy and publicness will drive the organization of the artist residency, defined by individual and private artist studios; collective spaces for social interaction; and public exhibition areas. The collision between the private and public should generate spaces able to frame the life of the artists but also provide a generous urban figure to enhance the appropriation of those sites by the community, as well as revealing the civic and public role of the project: an urban room that acts as a place to gather, share and engage in a dialog with the city, and to create a new sense of community by continuing its story.

The project will include the production of physical models at various scales supported by other forms of representation. This is an in-person/hybrid studio: Rubén will teach full-time in-person in Ithaca and will be joined by Fabrizio for online meetings and reviews on a regular basis.

Instructor permission required:

Department Consent. This course is limited to specific architecture students and enrollment is through random balloting.

View a PDF of this class description.


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