2017 Skyscraper Competition
Javier López-Menchero Ortiz de Salazar
The eastern coast of Spain, containing the most highly populated seafront areas in the country, has suffered an indiscriminate urban expansion. Criteria for construction have erred on the speculative side rather than being the rational consequence of studying the urban needs of the territory.
Espiral3500 is situated in “La Albufera”, an agricultural natural park which has been subjected to speculation based development and expansive growth. Tourism has become the main force of attraction. With it, it has produced an urban sprawl, which has disfigured the landscape. Tourism in the area causes an increase in population density of up to 1000% in some localities, turning them from ghost towns in winter to areas of high most density in summer.
Would a more coherent model have been possible in “La Albufera” given knowledge of its operation?
A model that advocates management of the territory and its demands over selling its most precious good, the land; this is where the typology of the skyscraper becomes relevant as a figure that can absorb most of the anxieties and demands of the population. This element would be capable of seeing to the touristic needs without greatly affecting the natural resources of the territory. The gaps produced by the cyclical nature of tourism in the vertical construction could result in additional maintenance costs. However, the gaps experienced during winter in territories of the extensive model leave a far more devastating scenery behind, producing a total disassembly of most services and urban functions due to reduction of their density.
What type of skyscraper should be introduced?
The successful level repetition skyscraper model of the 20th century must be transformed. To this end, I focus on initial theories on verticality, in which the concept of verticality is seen as the possibility of reproducing and extending all that happens at ground level.
Then, why not place public spaces inside buildings? This tower would no longer be an element where solely private dynamics take place. The Spanish eastern coast city is the quintessential city of public and open spaces. This skyscraper explores the interesting standpoint of introducing the streets and all of the city’s horizontal plane complexity into the vertical realm.
The main investigation of this project is to understand the relationship between and the role played by private and public spaces within the skyscraper. Here, I use a spiral system in which the public spaces (namely the different types of streets) form rings that rest on a structural element. Spaces for private use hang from this structural element. This “inverted street” system allows for an immediate linking of public and private, while allowing for sufficient dissociation to grant desired privacy.