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Puente Español (Spanish Bridge): Design in Times of Crisis; RONDA LIBRARY/ BUS STATION

Part 1 Project 2013
Paulina Stachowicz
University of Strathclyde, UK
‘Puente Español’ is a proposal for an actual competition brief announced by local government of Ronda (Andalusia, Spain) in 2012. Public library and bus station project, located in a ‘run-down’ district of otherwise beautiful city became a study material on how architecture can, in simple moves, approach the problem of crisis-urban
and social on a scale of area, city or even country.

Main design aspiration was retrieval of local and national identity, which is particularly challenged in times of global recession and major economic crisis in Spain. Creation of ‘positive’ space that would fill- in missing urban fabric could become a point of origin for future investments in the area and an inspiration for next ‘people- orientated’ projects within the country.

Outcomes of urban, cultural and historical research of the area were presented in a form of a building complex constituting of public library accessible for all age groups and a bus station, which are connected through the medium of public plaza. Thanks to the extension of the brief by typical for Spanish culture plaza (with café & viewing/performance platform), project could benefit from the effect of synergy, where two, rarely seen together, functions interact and amplify each other.

Design promotes local materials and services, as well as encourages citizens to personally involve in the creation/ usage process and ‘leave something behind’ by creating graffiti- like archive within the walls of the library. At last, project sets an example of sustainable design for the city, reducing environmental impact as well as costs of running.

Paulina Stachowicz


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