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Thursday, January 28, 2010

PRINCETON SOA - SPRING 2010 - M+T STUDIO SYLLABUS


TRANSFORMING THE EXISTING CITY: STRATEGIES AND TOOLS.
THE GRAN VIA OF MADRID, A NEW CITY FOR BUSINESS TOURISM.

MADRID, MONUMENT AND NICHE.
Madrid, as most contemporary metropolises, is a complex urban system built as a spatial representation of the shifting social structure that supports it. From the outset it has been influenced by its society and its successive mutations.
What in the beginning was a small defensive settlement was transformed, when designated a capital city, into an administrative or managerial structure. It was then formalized around the East-West axis that communicated between the summer and winter palaces of the monarchs.
The construction of modern Madrid, as a natural response to the ideological anachronism of the historic axis, initiated itself by establishing the South-North axis as an alternative, thus inducing the eventual displacement of the center towards the North as the axis was extended.
In the modern context the Gran Vía (translates as Broadway) was conceived as a surgical intervention aimed at reestablishing the lost balance between the East-West and the North-South vectors.
In the XX century, the different transportation infrastructures, such as the ring roads or the radial highway system completed the structure of the city such as we know it today.

PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION, CHANGE AND MANAGEMENT
Madrid is a great metropolis and as such its vitality depends on four factors, according to Manuel Castells´ approach: production, consumption, change and management.
While management and change have been present all throughout the historical process of constructing the city of Madrid, the latest modern period can be understood in relation to a conscious increase of consumption, production and tourism.
As in many contemporary cities in Spain, this increase resulted in an unbalanced model for economic growth and in the proliferation of speculative processes for the creation of added value. Within this framework for the creation of capital gain, the large operations of contemporary Madrid are linked to the assumption of its condition as a city of services, and more specifically a city of business-tourism.
Today, as the growth of the construction-based economy has reached a dead end, the city of Madrid tries to build new progressive and irreversible spatial developments. In these spaces for conflict and freedom, infrastructures come by hand of a demand for management and consumption which must act as a generator for growth in the city.

NEW LANDSCAPE IN LA GRAN VÍA
Investment in energy and infrastructure is accepted optimistically as a possible catalyst for opportunities and job creation.
The purpose of this studio is to test strategies and tools on a specific environment within the existing city of Madrid: La Gran Vía.
One hundred years after the construction of La Gran Vía, it is time to think of new ways of transforming the city that will foster new patterns of relationships.
New artificial landscapes will be tested, where production and exchange will be linked to management, consumption, tourism and culture. A new area of centrality that will abandon the code of the historic city and will bring a more infrastructural and anonymous objectivity. Thus, new ways of understanding the city will emerge, where the facts and the artifacts will establish social and cultural bonds that will enable the construction of newer, more complex and more contradictory urban situations.
A new urban niche that will materialize the shifting conditions of production, management and consumption of the contemporary city, a landscape of exchange, of business-tourism. An optimistic landscape for a more active and participatory Madrid.

2 comments:

Kevin said...

wow, really awesome, haha, nice post

Family Lawyers said...

Amazing post. It is such a interesting black and white pic that is called history I guess.