Case Study Montevideo 2
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|Name||Campo de Batalla [Battlefield]. Parque Artigas|
|Office||Design Team: FABRICA DE PAISAJE [Fabio Ayerra, Marcos Castaings, Martin Cobas, Federico Gastambide, Javier Lanza, Diego Pérez] Consultants: Dis. ind. Carolina Rava, Ing Agronomo Roberto Robino. Collaborators: Marcelo Brunetto, Paola Monzillo, Adriana Pujol|
|Client||Intendencia Municipal de Canelones|
|<googlemap version="0.9" lat="-34.725000" lon="-56.201000" type="satellite" zoom="15" width="300" height="250">
Core Question 1: In how far does this project reveal your concept of future landscapes?
This project assumes the complexity involved when operating in landscape architecture. Many dimensions, scales and times are involved. It considers the memory in order to build the identity towards the future. It is optimistic about the integrator potential of the discipline and its products.
Landscape is conceived as an interface. An interface between people and their environ, a field of relationship between different people and the space for a collective construction of the future based on the traditions and local history and –at the same time- establishing multiple connections to the rest of the world.
Landscape and/or urban context
The city of Montevideo was funded in 1724, as a key point in the process of colonization of South America by the spanish. The city of Las Piedras by its north was funded in 1744. The process towards the independence of the country starts in February 1811 when the gauchos start to fight for it, being a part of the Hispanoamerican Independence Revolution. In 1764 José Gervasio Artigas is born. He will be a patriot, a national hero. Artigas will leader the independence process. He starts his career at the spanish army but in 1811 he renounces and joins the revolutionary army whose aim was to get the independence from spanish power. He gathered a group of revolutionary men in the city of Mercedes (300 km far from Montevideo) and they left for Montevideo. Near Montevideo –where today is located the Artigas Park at the city of Las Piedras- they met the spanish men comited to defend their colony. The 18 of May 1811 the revolutionary army led by Artigas defeats the spanish army for the first time in South America. Today the city of Las Piedras is one of the most important of the department (state) of Canelones and is part of the metropolitan region of Montevideo. The park is peripheral respecting to Las Piedras and –at the moment of the Competition- has some pre-existing elements of monumental character and questionable relationship with it.
In 2007 the first leftist government of the department of Canelones calls for a Contest of Ideas for the transformation of the park towards the bicentenary of the battle in 2011. Many proposals arrived but the first prize was won by a group of young architects called Fabrica de Paisaje (Landscape Factory).
Spatial analysis of area/project/plan
The proposal starts with two reflections: From a geographic point of view the fact of the concentration of the majority of events that took to the independence in the south west of Uruguay due to historical and geographical logics. The question made is if it is possible to build a network of marks on the territory that re introduce in people’s social memory the process of this revolutionary facts. From a landscape point of view it says that the characteriscs of the territory have determined the paths according to its strategic potential and the posible conformation of battlefields. In this sense they ask if it is possible to construct a landscape that keeps alive the memory of this facts. Las Piedras, they say, shouldn’t miss the chance to use this layer as an element of social cohesion and construction of the future territory. Due to its location on the edge of a city wich is at the outside belt of Montevideo the proposal –instead of building a traditional urban park with lots of infraestructure and maintenance- is to asume its condition and conceive a rur-urban park where nature is less domesticated than in traditional parks. That is the reason why the structure of the park is due to very light elements and -when they are more visible- they settle on pre-existing buildings. This is the case of the Pabellón del Bicentenario (Pavilion of the Bicentenary), the emblematic building of the whole operation that settles softly over the clumsy “Mausoleo al Soldado Oriental” (Mausoleum to Uruguayan Soldier) buit at the early nineties. The rest of proposed elements at the same time that allow many posible uses, they refer to icons of the uruguayan revolution: the lights of the fogones (reunions arround the fire), the shadow under the Ibirapitás (Peltophorum dubium) also known as the Artigas trees and the identity based on the horse and the spears. The pavilion reframes the heavy existing building and its structure of steel –visible from the exterior through translucidos glasses- subtilment remembers the crossing spears of the gauchos telling us about the conmemorative dimension of the park. A natural amphitheater will let the originary grasses grow and –at the same time- will include some alternative elements adaptable to a wide range of uses. Los fogones are places of reunion conceived to allow different uses. They also remember the reunions of the gaucho army of Artigas. The feral forest. Due to te presence of many trees planted in the park in regular way (Eucalyptus globulus y Eucalyptus ficifolia) the idea is to infiltrate it with other species planted in a apparentely not ordered way in order to enhance the sensation of wild vegetation.
Some pictures of the pavilion can be seen at Intendencia Municipal de Canelones
Analysis of program/function
The projects includes many dimensions related to the re-construction of the identity of the city. As we have said this is a park almost with no built elements, a battlefield that remebers the historic facts and also a contemporary field of action that allows every kind of not predefined uses.
Analysis of design/planning process
The design team contextualized the problem to be solved in a scale that clearly transcends the limits of the area proposed by the competition basis. As we said, they imagined the park as a part of a wider net of marks in the territory. This park was conceived –as Fabrica de Paisaje says- as a dinamic process, a park that should be managed instead of maintenance. A park that assumes the imprevisible and the overlapping of times and involves the vecinos in the process of transformation.
Analysis of use/users
Today the park is in process. The pavilion is already built and there are exposed some elements from the battle. Recently the government made a call for proposal to recover the sub-terrain memorial into an event hall, according to the general strategies proposed by Fabrica de Paisaje. The authorities are working towards the celebration of the bicentenary.
Core Question 2: What is the role of landscape architecture in this project?
In this study case landscape architects are able to look beyond the obvious. They trascend the specific context of the project area according to the competition basis and they find a latent opportunity to transform it into a node of a wider future landscape of the south west region of Uruguay enhancing its cultural value.
They consider at the same time multiple dimensions -spacial, historic, social, cultural, politic, environmental and temporal- getting to a synthesis proposal related to a clear concept of great evocative power: Battlefield. They makes it possible to read the history of the country through the landscape. They imagine open and complex processes instead of precise images assuming uncertainty as a positive value.
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Please find images and maps on the moodle folder of this course.
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