Winter Break 3 : Tajo Presentation + Starchitecture in Madrid
PART 1: TAJO
The presentations in Toledo and Madrid
are done and I am on my way back home after way too long. Both presentations went well, the one in Toledo was sparsely attended but there was a small media circus, the one in Madrid was well attended by students, politicians and professionals. They seem excited about the possibility of saving the river and we may come back in March to present it more formally to the Government.
It was even front page news in some newspapers and appeared in web news outlets; i.e. La Voz de Galicia
, Yahoo Spain
Now the 16 projects, laid out in 40 panels, will travel to some conferences including the Zaragoza '08 water expo
. The reception of the study and the amount of publicity I saw for the Expo (TV, NEWS, etc...), seems to point at a real change in the Spanish way of looking at sustainability and water issues. PART 2: MADRID ARCHITECTURE
After the presentations I did a little archi-tourism and thought that people may enjoy.
2.1 H&dM - Caixa Forum
Right in front of the Prado, this project (I think) reuses an old power-station and will be for a semi-public building with galleries, places for meetings, etc... The truth is that it looks beautiful and it fits well within its context. The only thing is that after the conversation with Eisenman, I often wonder if there work is only about 'sexy'
... nonetheless, there working style is becoming ubiquitous
Also, check out the vertical garden, supposedly the plants are fed by oxygen only (supplied by the membrane they are in).
2.2 West 8 - Manzanares Park
Madrid is doing their version of Boston's 'Big Dig' along the Manzanares river (one of the rivers we studied in the Tajo studio). West 8 seems to be doing a big chunk of the new parks and has finished the first section above a highway tunnel (thus the planters). The blue chimneys and the pattern of the tiles/planter are nice and it may even look better once these trees bloom in the summer, but it kind of looks pretty dead and sad right now. I mean Madrid does not have such a harsh winter, maybe a couple of winter trees could have been planted...
2.3 Moneo - Prado Extension
This building feels odd, and the Spanish people 9designers) I was staying with did not like the scale or how it fits within the context. They said that it just does not feel like a major museum addition. There is a very good interior courtyard next to the church, and the door is exquisite.
2.4 Nouvel - Reina Sofia Extension
This project really dealt with its context (a highway and world famous museum) well.