SANTANDER, Spain — Garciagerman Arquitectos in Spain used a special type of concrete to create a fabulous black and white op-art effect across the plaza of a market in Santander. The firm states of the work:
All images by Imagen Subliminal.
The plaza, a former elevated leftover space on top of Puertochico Market, and until now segregated from city life, is reconnected to the neighborhood through the construction of a broad flight of steps that also act as an urban grandstand, facing the afternoon sun and the busy street life. This enables an easy access and a renewed use of the elevated plaza, with children’s playground, extensive flowerbed plantings and long perimeter benches. The new intervention deliberately reduces the range of gestures and materials in an aim to introduce an abstract and homogeneous counterpoint to a discordant urban environment, resolving all perimeter benches and plantings with a single detail and the entire paving surface with a single floor piece. The new all-embracing carpet-like paving produces a certain volumetric, Op-Art effect, de-contextualizing the preexisting cultural centre which sits in the middle of the plaza and appears to hover over this carpet, which itself floats over the street. The paving is made up by EcoGranic® prefab coloured concrete pieces which filter NOx and perform as active de-contaminants.
Plantings are laid with aromatic and Atlantic species and little maintenance required. They are organized in parallel bands producing colour fringes and a selective blockage of immediate views from within the plaza.
The project is the first phase of a global redevelopment of the existing market below, which will be updated and completed with outdoor restaurants, gastro-stands and a new image in a strategic location, at the same time close to the city’s centre, the seafront and the touristic enclaves.
About the Studio
GARCIAGERMAN ARQUITECTOS is an architectural studio founded in 2003 with offices in Madrid and Santander, Spain, and with international teaching and working experience.
It compromises a team of 12 professionals (architects, structural, mechanical and environmental engineers, technical architects and staff) led by PRINCIPAL Jacobo García-Germán (PhD Architect, Hons. ETSAM / AA) in the Madrid office and DIRECTOR Manuel del Río (Architect, ETSAM) in the Santander office.
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