Photo Jorge López Conde
[...] The incorporation of this revision of public and institutional typologies, that is anchored to a nineteenth-century idea of horizontality, is beginning to show some institutional adaptation on the ground. As much as we criticize some political leaders for their attitudes when hiring "star architects”, we must applaud the excellent decision of the jury in the selection of the fifth building for the Real Madrid towers (the only public one). They decided to reward the courageous proposal of Mansilla and Tuñón, together with Matilde Peralta, a disk-shaped convention center that reaches 120 meters high and represents the wisdom of a new generation of architects that confronts the stagnated routine of vertical construction. The project, which mimics a piece by the plastic artist Olafur Eliasson -the favourite artist of the architects today- aimed to double the sunset, is in fact a successful self reference to a project by the architects themselves, a skilfully decontextualised loan. A vertically scaled up roof plan, whose courage and harmonious relationship with the rest of the site and the horizon of the city speak for themselves of the professionalism and sense of opportunity that this gesture involves (the project will be built over the next few years, scheduled for completion in 2011).
It should be noted that this proposal makes an effort to create a pedestrian park, precisely because of its verticality, hence gaining for the city, thanks to the municipal capital gains generated by the four towers, not just a convention center, the business par excellance of the city, but a public space to complete the balance of power between private and public interests and provides a degree of dignity to the whole composition.
The public space that allows the more strategic contemporary verticalism, with its small footprint on the locations and the apparent sustainability that provides its synergetic use of the various activities of the section, are factors that have a growing role in its acceptance. The public space, traditionally created by skyscrapers -a mix of commercial streets and picturesque parks that was inaugurated by the invention of Central Park in New York, with its ability to transform the Midtown- surely contains the genetic code of the contemporary public space. [...]
Extract of the article VERTICALISMO by Iñaki Abalos