The Woman Builds. ‘Architecture Na Periphery’

  • Álvarez Domínguez Mónica EnriquetaUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura
  • Angelique TrachanaUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura
Abstract

Participation for the intervention and transformation of the environment, in the case study Arquitectura Na Periferia”, is presented as an emancipatory way for women and to mitigate conflicts of different kinds in marginalized settlements.
This article studies the broader consequences of citizen participation and collaboration in practices that break the usual operational schemes of the architectural and urban discipline.
In this way, it is intended to carry out, at the same time, an evaluation of some renewed professional practices, reviewing the attitudes and action procedures and demonstrating the efficiency of the processes in which the people and communities involved grow and transform.

DOI: 

https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.7.01

Searching for the center. First part

  • Remesar Antoni Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract

This article, the first part of a series, reviews the idea of the ‘center’ of the city through an analysis of some utopian proposals, including Howard’s for the garden city and ends with an analysis of the polycentrality of the medieval city.

After a review of the evolution of circular and polygonal cities from an analysis of secondary
sources, artistic iconography, cartography of the early days of printing and images of Google Earth, introduces the discussion about the ‘ideal city by studying this concept in medieval scholasticism, especially in the work of Eiximenis, as well as the relationship of this ideal with the materialization of the medieval cities [1] of repopulation, valuing the relationship between the routes and the emergence of the urban center and [2] the study, with different
intensities, of important medieval cities: Siena, Bologna, Florence, Venice, Brussels, Krakow,
Naples and Barcelona.

In the case of these last two cities, the article focuses on the importance of the port and shore space, as a large public space in the city.

DOI: 

https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.8.01

					View Vol. 63 No. 9 (2021): The icons and the city

Aesthetic Uniqueness of Public Space. Based on the Example of the Region of Łódź(Poland) Basic Terminological Issues

Jowita Mróz Doctoral School of Humanities. University of Łódź

ABSTRACT

The concept of uniqueness can be an important critical tool. But as related to architecture, buildings, or the entire architectural and visual landscape of the city it appears frequently in many different contexts.
One can state that describing objects in public space and even entire urban complexes in terms of uniqueness plays a marketing role – it increases the tourist attractiveness of the area – as well as socio-cultural role, because it helps to strengthen the city and build its community’s sense of identity. Indicating these goals or the intention to create uniqueness in the region of Łódź draws attention to another, more fundamental theoretical-linguistic issue, namely, what it means that something is unique.
Taking into account etymology, theoretical approach, as well as possible values attributed to ‛uniqueness,’ I will consider main terminological problems with the notion. Bearing in mind these basic theoretical-linguistic issues, I will consider whether there are unique objects in the city of Łódź and the region.
Trying to answer this question I will review phenomena and objects that could be considered as unique. Identifying possible uniqueness of the places and objects located in public spaces of the region of Łódź, I will consider what can create a unique panorama of urban space in Łódź and its region, and on what scale this uniqueness can be considered in order to avoid the feeling that in some sense everything is unique, or nothing is, because it imitates or resembles existing solutions, ideas in other cities of Poland or Europe.

DOI: 

https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.9.01


The image of contemporary architecture of Wrocław depicted in recent tourist commercial and Internet media

Natalia Bursiewicz Pedagogical University of Krakow

ABSTRACT

The aim of the paper is to present the tourist and image potential of contemporary public architecture.
Wrocław was chosen as the research subject, as it is a historical center with an extremely rich architectural heritage, which has enjoyed great interest among visitors for centuries. With the announcement of Wrocław as the European Capital of Culture 2016, and then the European Best Destination in 2018, its attractiveness increased significantly, which was reflected not only in the number of visitors, but also in the advertising materials themselves.
Both before and after arrival, millions of tourists encounter a multitude of various advertising forms, both virtual and printed, which determine the direction of sightseeing and shape a specific image and perception of the city. In general opinion, Wrocław is considered a historic city, the most interesting places of which are concentrated around the Old Town and Ostrów Tumski. The Centennial Hall, built at the beginning of the 20th century, stands out from the „newer heritage”.
The idea of the study, however, was to answer the question whether contemporary architecture is used in any way in the current tourist advertisement of the city. Another goal was to identify and list the most frequently appearing objects from the adopted group, and to analyze the manner of their presentation. Based on the collected materials, efforts were made to assess the role of the media in creating a tourist product in terms of promoting local architecture in recent years.
At the same time, an attempt was made to evaluate the role of architecture in creating the city’s progressive brand. In the research, the author used the method of analyzing the existing statistical data, iconographic research and the method of analyzing the content of advertising materials, as well as scientific studies on cultural heritage and tourism in the city. The final part of the paper shows that modern architecture can be a significant element increasing the tourist attractiveness of the city.

DOI: 

https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.9.02

Integrated Urban-Social Programs (PIUS) and Casa Analco (FABUAP). Two projects in the periphery and the centre of the city in search of citizen participation

Adriana Hernández Sánchez DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.5.01

Cover Image

Abstract

This work exemplifies a search for participation for the promotion of urban-architectural projects both in the center and in the periphery of a Mexican city such as Puebla, where twenty years ago few activities were developed in which the main actors were the inhabitants. Fortunately, in recent years it has been possible to carry out specific actions where participation is a key part of having a less technical vision on the part of architects, urban planners and heritage conservators.


The first project is the Integral Urban Social Program in which, through a municipal action, an attempt was made to implement a participatory process in sectors considered to be of extreme poverty where municipal government programs tried to impact the areas called PIUS. An important part was the Participatory Design process that mobilized the main universities of the city through young architecture students to carry out a series of projects where the condition was to have contact with the communities.


In the case of the Casa Analco project, a university initiative in the historic centre of the city in a very traditional neighbourhood (16th century) with problems of deterioration, abandonment and insecurity, with which the university-neighbourhood link is currently promoted and in where space has been the pretext to promote university participation in the rehabilitation of a building, but at the same time in a rapprochement with the neighbourhood.


Through these two cases it is confirmed that it is possible to make participation possible through a process that must be adapted to each place, these experiences leave a series of reflections in different areas, from which a basic process can be broken down to encourage it through organization, promotion, awareness of the work team, knowledge of the place, time, evaluation, management and adaptability.

Keywords

Puebla; México; participation; centre; periphery; process; management.

From Densely Filled Vistas to Empty Piazzas. City Images Interpreting the Oscillating Dynamisms of Urban Reality

By -Zoltán Somhegyi DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.4.01


Cover Page

Abstract

Cities have been inspirational for the creators of visual art works long since, first as mere secondary, additional motifs to indicate the “urban” environment of the main scene, then as subject-matters in their own right. Those images could depict both imaginary and actual cities of the past and of the future, including mythological and Biblical locations, documenting distant lands and fantasizing on the appearance of utopian cities. In some of these aspects, the history of city representations shares significant similarities with the history of landscape depictions. 


In the present paper, however, I aim to focus on a curious and particular detail in this pictorial tradition. Following and further investigating a brief reflection by Michel Makarius from his 2004 book on Ruins, I would like to compare the visuality and aesthetic effects of dense and empty cityscapes, of which two classical examples could be the capriccios – imaginary views of cities completely filled with aesthetically pleasing elements, including magnificent remnants of the Antique heritage – and representations of cities in which their emptiness is highlighted to such extent that the observer tends to assume that the real subject-matter of the image is not the city, its buildings, forms and physical components but exactly its being “empty”. 


These “extremities” on the broad range of cityscapes, i.e., the densely-filled and the extremely depopulated are, however, not merely historical sub-genres of long-gone centuries. These typologies have survived to this day, in various versions and with diverse accents; what’s more, they seem to be more relevant than ever in understanding not only the nature of these artistic representations and their aesthetic references, but also in learning more of our contemporary reality itself. It is enough to think of the numerous ways in which artists approach the convoluted issues and challenges of urban life today, with the classical references and visual vocabulary in mind, either unconsciously creating occasional parallels or using them as explicit forerunners to their own works. The density of the global megapolises are represented in artistically novel ways often with socially critical overtones, while the images of empty cities – not long ago, for example, during the recent pandemics and lockdowns – are again resulting in aesthetically inspiring and insightful works incentivizing us to reflect on the oscillating dynamisms of our present urban realities. Therefore, it is particularly beneficial to observe such renderings of our cities and hence to raise more our awareness of the multiple global issues that are often very strongly manifested in the everyday life in large metropolises. Pieces of art thematising the extreme forms of city life can become very efficient ways of constantly reminding us of our duties of taking care of both our cities and our life.

Keywords

representations of cities; dense cityscapes; empty cities; aesthetics of urbanity

Tactical urbanism for the pandemic

An urban perspective of the pandemic in Panama

José Antomio De Gracia

Abstract

The following essay seeks to highlight the effects of the pandemic on the way we inhabit and build cities. We understand that before the outbreak of the social-health crisis of COVID-19, as in many places in Latin America, Panama was at a time when its urban, social and economic model had entered a phase of exhaustion and is now escalating at an even higher level. The pandemic has revealed the negative effects of urban sprawl, segregation of housing and disappearance of public space that now become an obstacle to controlling the spread of the virus.

Continue reading Tactical urbanism for the pandemic

Public Art in Āb-o-Ātash Park, Tehran

A new issue of On the w@terfornt, Vol 62, No 6 (2020)

Exploring Design, Site and Subject Matter vis-à-vis Public Art Engagement: Case Study of Āb-o-Ātash Park in Tehran

Negar Zojaji

Abstract

This article is the result of an exploratory research on public art in Āb-o-Ātash park in Tehran. It investigates the way the three elements of design, site, and subject matter affect audience engagement with public
artworks.

The research has been conducted through qualitative methods, namely unobtrusive observations and surveys. Artworks have been identified based on specifications extracted from discourse analysis of the concepts of publicness and authorship in public arts.
Thereafter, characteristics of the visual samples have been processed through cluster analysis with respect to design, site, and subject matter in order to be compared, and related to the results of observations of audience engagement.

The results propose a correlation between subject matters of the artworks and audience engagement in Āb-o-Ātash park.

Keywords

Tehran; Āb-o-Ātash; Design; Site; Subject matter; public engagement

When public art sucks, an insult to citizenship and I’m not talking about graffiti, I’m talking about Madrid under COVID19

A. Remesar

The COVID19 pandemic has left thousands dead, hundreds of thousands of infected people, a health system on the brink of collapse; the discovery that an important part of the fundamental services are those that have little social consideration and less salary and have had Spaniards confined for 10 weeks – just now the confinement measures begin to flex.

While a supportive citizenship applauds essential services every night at 8 p.m., and organizes solidarity networks to alleviate the “hunger queues” and the devastating effects the pandemic has and will have on popular classes, fleeing the war language used by the political class that has not yet understood that YES the virus understands borders, those of social class. Citizens have clearly understood that this is not a war, that this is not about heroes.

In this context two monuments have just been unveiled in Madrid. One responsibility of the Madrid City Council devoted to those who died during the pandemic – as if the pandemic had ended. The other monument is the sculpture “Heroes of COVID19”. 

(c) El Mundo
(c) EL MUNDO

The City of Madrid monument is a cauldron designed by architect Carlos Rubio Carbajal, located on an island at the beginning of Calle Alcalá towards Sol square. The cauldron is a circular piece of black steel almost two meters in diameter, like a large plate, placed on a prism also of steel. At the foot of the prism a commemorative plaque. As a scenic background of the monument the Fountain of Cibeles and the Palacio de las Comunicaciones – it was the headquarters of the Spanish post office-, an example of the “Monterrey” style of the beginning of the twentieth century and today the seat of the Region of Madrid.

It is precisely in this palace that the regional president inaugurated on May 20th the unfortunate monument “Heroes of COVID19” by the sculptor Victor Ochoa. Formally the work is a real waste, mixture of bronze and resins. Bronze that looks like a cow manure, translucent resin that being kind we would identify with the cinematic “Casper”, but which is rather a bad Orphic representation of the classical moiras or parcas.

It is precisely in this palace that the regional president unveiled on May 20th the unfortunate monument “Heroes of COVID19” by the sculptor Victor Ochoa. Victor Ochoa acknowledges that this work had been in his studio for several years and, how cheaply demiurge, intends to convince us that this work was a premonition. As social networks point out, foreboding nothing, it’s a “botch-up”, a “shit”, an insult to the consciences of good people.

Commercial opportunism of a sculptor – sculpture is not a commission, it is a donation from the sculptor – which was formed in my Faculty, the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. What a shame.

Very timely, the networks note that the work seems more “an allegory on management of the crisis by  Diaz Ayuso ” the regional president who, with the arrogance that characterizes her, threatens the public by saying that this will not be the only tribute that the victims of the coronavirus will have in the region and announced a contest of ideas in which architects will be able to participate , sculptors and entities from the world of culture and architecture to build a memorial in memory “to the victims and heroes who have fought against Covid-19.

We repeat, it’s not about war, it’s not about heroes. It is logical that the symbolic thought of the reactionary right and the far right cannot comprehend it and use the empty rhetoric of the homeland and heroism and the expression of an outdated figuration.

Supportive citizenship doesn’t deserve this. Supportive citizenship does not deserve pain and suffering to be used at the present dramatic moment as a political tool of the most despicable populism.

For the reader who understands Spanish I would recommend following the video of the aesthetic teacher Félix Duque “Several Apostilles: a monument to the “heroes” of the covid that is scary” in this direction https://youtu.be/VGoRK98gyfA

Public space: the use of vertical and air planes

Journal of a Gadabout (14) by Dr. A. Remesar

The public space is structured in four planes: that of the ground, the vertical (not exclusively of facade); the plane of the air and a fourth plane that can be called zenital. The most studied is the horizontal plane, built from infrastructures, elements of urban service (lighting, vegetation, signage, etc.) and interfacing with urban systems (water, electricity, gas, etc.), with the omnipresent elements of paving. (see)

The study of the vertical plane is reduced to the analysis of the facades, although the vertical containment of public space goes beyond the facades. (see)

Continue reading Public space: the use of vertical and air planes