The final projects of the students of Architecture of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Jorge Henríquez Yanez and Ernesto Ibáñez Galindo, have obtained the first and third prize, respectively, of the IX International Isarch Awards Competition, aimed at architecture students from around the world.
The winning proposal in this prestigious event, endowed with 3,000 euros, is titled Hotel Escala for NavegantesAlthough the intervention goes far beyond a hotel center, it addresses the regeneration of the port front of the Santa Cruz de la Palma Bay, according to its author, Jorge Henríquez.
"I was born in Santa Cruz de La Palma, I grew up in La Bahía, and my family has a naval tradition, which is why I wanted to make a project dedicated to the relationship between the city and the sea," said the young architect.
The project aims to rehabilitate the current port front dedicated to the use of containers, and give the splendor that had this area in other times, enhancing the Risco de la Concepción. "I did not want to make a building as such, but try to give the city a new image, a new opportunity for development, through the regeneration of the port front of the bay." The resulting action covers some 40,000 square meters, and proposes a new maritime station, a vacuum-free expansion plaza at the end of the real street, an underground car park on the Avenida de los Indianos, pedestrian traffic from the bus interchange to the new boardwalk and a multifunctional building that ends at the top of a hotel.
"My intention is that the commercial activity of this container wharf, next to the city of Santa Cruz de La Palma, will be transferred to a new point in the north, Maldonado, and that the port will become attractive for cruises, both of a big ship like the sail boats that call America ".
The ground floor of the building is conceived as an area of expansion of the seafront for the city intended for the celebration of fairs, markets, performances … The first combines the use of private restaurants, congress halls, exhibitions and school workshop activities of sailing And on the last floor of the roof there is a large canopy with perforated circles for sunlight to enter the diaphanous plants at the pier level, and a sheet of water that reaches 18 meters with a thickness of three centimeters is proposed. It captures solar energy, so that it conceives a self-sufficient building from the energy point of view. This upper floor will have suites and vertical pieces, which the author calls sunflowers, "mobile rooms for the crews of the ships that, depending on the number of crew, can be extended or not, and the shape of the building is modified," explained Henríquez.
The performance, as a whole, has been conceived by Jorge Henríquez as a tribute to his family and his land. And the fact of having obtained the first prize in the international competition, is for him not only a recognition of the effort, but the satisfaction and pride of being able to project the Canary Islands and his University worldwide.
In the case of Ernesto Ibáñez, his project entitled The Fabulous Library, with which it has obtained the third prize endowed with one thousand euros, revolutionizes the concept of libraries to offer an attractive place, which promotes knowledge, through a multi-storey building, with squares, gardens and terraces, located in a solar of the capital district of Guanarteme, in Gran Canaria, close to the Auditorium and Las Arenas.
"Instead of making a library to use, seeing that these centers are increasingly less influx, I propose a kind of shopping center dedicated to knowledge, instead of shopping and restaurants, that is, take the same strategies with which It attracts people to shopping centers and apply them to a kind of knowledge exchange center. "
A project that, in the words of its author, serves not only the cultural aspect but the enrichment of one of the most populated neighborhoods of the city. "Guanarteme has practically no cultural equipment and hence my goal of making this strategy to attract people through a proposal that draws attention, a center of cultural reference at the entrance to the neighborhood from the north," said the graduate in Architecture.
Ibáñez, who currently works in a studio in Seville, has received this third prize with great enthusiasm, despite the fact that his final project was already chosen among the ten best PFCs in Spain by Plataforma Arquitectura, and selected for the Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism this year. "Still, both the first prize of Jorge and the third of mine, by putting two Canarian projects within an international framework, makes special illusion," he said.
The international competition, which featured 30 finalists from around the world, is aimed at students of architecture, in order to provide a platform for debate, and give architectural solutions to current issues, so that students contribute, within of the frame of his university studies.
An additional objective of the IS ARCH Awards is to encourage young people to join the debate in architecture, contributing with their vision and opinions, to promote cutting-edge trends and recognize new research emerging from universities. It also provides young people with an opportunity to project internationally.