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Puentes - Puerta, Free Zone University in Hendaye

Part 2 Project 2014
Fernando Sanchez Arroyo
IE University Segovia Spain
Puentes - Puerta, Free Zone University in Hendaye, proposes the transformation of an underused area of sidings in a magnet of knowledge. This project seeks a double regeneration, considering not only the return to nature and to the city of this piece of coast, but also an economic alternative to that so far has been one of the main sources of income for the region. The project is thought as a superposition of operations on the landscape, divided into two major different strategies.

On one hand, a series of strategies more related to the terrain. The assumption that it is neither possible nor desirable to return to the old natural state of the wetlands, as if nothing had happened, leads to the concentration of this recovery to particular areas, the Cuts made in the ground. Thereby, an operation that doesn’t try to hide its artificial character is planned.

On the other hand, over the previous interventions, some programmatic clean strips are disposed, the Bridges. They appear as a translation of the existing geometries in the surroundings, acting a series of elements that connect the project with the city, bridging the gaps of the railway tracks and of the generated topography.

These bridges increase their section to accommodate the programme of the Free Zone, split into different planes, shaping the bars where the program is located. This operation provides changing environments and flexibility to the paths.

Between the Bridges and the new topography generated by the Cuts, a series of supports are arranged in the form of concrete “legs”. They act as an interface between the upper and the lower world, dodging the cuts, falling into them or serving as support for the stairs that connect the two layers of the project.

The difference between the two strata of the project is expressed through materiality. The space of the Cuts, exposed to the rises and falls of the tides, is defined by steel sheet piles walls. By contrast, the Bridges are understood as lightweight and clean pieces, steel light structures that are completed with a screen printed crystalline facade.

Fernando Sanchez Arroyo


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