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The project is located in Valencia, Spain, in the Cabanyal block on the Mediterranean coast. In the last 40 years this neighbourhood has undergone great changes due to economical and political interests, mainly related to the attempt of taking advantage of an area with a large touristic potential.
Originally the Cabanyal was a part of “Poblats Maritims”, fishing villages along the coast that have been afterward incorporated in the city of Valencia. Various attempts of changing the neighbourhood, through several acts of demolition and expropriation, caused the partial destruction of this community, both on a socio-cultural and architectural level. Today life here can be gathered around three large zones. The first is completely abandoned, the second is home for the Gipsy community who arrived consecutively to the buildings’ abandonment and expropriations. The third area is mainly populated by elderly people who struggle to save their homes. One of the important consequences of the neighbourhood depopulation has also been a steep increase in criminality.
Recently the “Poblats Maritims” have again spark the interest of the municipality, which decided to work on projects for new hotels, and urban restyling to trigger gentrification processes.
The neighbourhood is currently lacking social structures for the residents and almost all cultural activities are run by privates ( bars, cultural associations, etc...)
The project plans to rehabilitate two of the many abandoned old industrial buildings, commonly known as “naves”, to create a socio-cultural centre that can accommodate activities accessible to all social realities in the Cabanyal, encouraging inclusion, community integration and cultural development.
The core idea of the project is to empty both naves and to preserve the ancient metal structure and the perimetral walls. Furthermore, the project foresees the demolition of only two bays to allow the construction of a garden
The main hall, 6 meters in height, is like an Exhibition square made for accommodating various kind of artistic displays, from plastic arts to photography and digital arts.
From the hall it is possible to access to a small conference room, a children area, a multifunctional area and finally an outdoor garden, all located on the ground floor.
The garden is designed for hosting gardening workshops, a children environmental awareness area and small recreation area.
The first floor accommodates both a computer and sketching studios, a couple of music rehearsal rooms and a craft workshop studio. Finally, on the same floor there is a mezzanine that overlooks the main hall and that hosts a small reading and relax area.
The materials employed are both new and recycled: wood, metal (widely used due to the presence of many steel industries on the valencian coast), azulejos (typical element of the fishermen´s houses of Cabanyal). The roof is made half by red zinc and half by a photovoltaic surface oriented towards the south.
Today the main facade of the ‘naves’ has a particularly interesting graffiti (a kind of art that is widely appreciated here). The project provides for its safeguard and valorisation.
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