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Floating Beaches

Part 2 Project 2001
Leyre Asensio Villoria
Architectural Association London | UK
During the course of the year the population density along the Spanish coastline varies from overcrowded situations to almost complete emptiness. This high variation on the density of usage is due to the enormous growth that tourism has experimented on the area in the last two decades.
This growth continues...

The project is an urban strategy to react and accommodate the variable conditions of usage and need emerging from the rapid changes in density.
A floating artificial ground between the city and the sea is proposed in order to intensify and soften this current situation.
The strategy is implemented through the following scales of operation.
1/Several floating piers constituted by bands of 500m long x 8m wide have been developed as a new artificial ground.
2/Lateral displacement of the bands accommodates leisure programme.
3/Transversal striations accommodate beach-plots for five types of tourist tribes.
4/A folding of the surface organises a range of additional small-scale and local activities.
These four operational scales collaborate in an integral structural behaviour allowing the system to float along and span large distances.

The need to negotiate different densities of usage during specific periods of the year allows us to rethink the role of the ground in an urban organisation. The engineering of a flooding regime reacts to the variable density, intensifying or softening this new ground in accordance with changing desires of the colonising tribes.

Leyre Asensio Villoria

Aligned with the straightest modern agenda, the unit understands the practice of architecture as a problem of material organisation. But rather than rooting this materialism in the mechanistic paradigm, we endeavour to open it up to a generative Life, by engineering processes of mediation that are capable of turning intense, multiple temporal determinations into a consistent indeterminacy.

Leyre's Project-Thesis is the by-product of a sophiscated mechanism for integrating a wide range of scales of order into a structural-spatial system. The complexity of the mechanism is based on a non-linear regime of cause-effect relationships between the diverse domains of determination that are present in a project at this scale. Its sharpness derives from a clear segregation of problems. Its beauty lies in the effect of a dry yet creative rigour.

By tightening the collaboration between structural redundancy and architectural significance, this prototypical ground solution to the varying population densities along Spanish coast presents a tectonic system, a material expression and a procedural alternative to both the efficiency-based model of the traditional western engineer and the ideology-based model of the traditional western architect.

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