Client: Institut Valencià d´art Modern (IVAM)
Location: Valencia, Spain
Date: 2019 – 2020
Status: Construction documents submitted
Program: New public space entrance
IVAM Augmented Urban Forest
Ecosistema Urbano developed for the IVAM (Institut Valencià d’art Modern) an installation for a new reception space in the esplanade of access to the museum. The execution project was conceived during the year of 2020, and its construction was planned for the autumn of 2021.
From public square to urban forest: redesigning cities in support of ecosystems
The Augmented Urban Forest pavilion on the IVAM esplanade redefines how the museum relates to the city, blurring the boundaries between both entities. The pavilion acts as a threshold between the exterior plaza and interior lobby, turning these entrance areas into welcoming places for the visitors and local community. Once a mundane passageway, the main entrance’s public space has been transformed into an essential part of a visit to the museum.
The Augmented Urban Forest also facilitates the debate around the interdependence between the city and the environment we inhabit, and it explores ways in which we can redefine and resignify this relationship. As such, the project focuses on three main questions about the contemporary debate on sustainability and climate change: how do we deal with the design of transition scenarios? the loss of biodiversity? the depletion of resources? These questions are addressed through the design of the pavilion and are brought to the public space, potentially triggering an open dialogue with the citizens.
The architectural solution for the project is structured around 5 design objectives that tackle these issues: social activation, visualization, renaturation, circular metabolism and climate conditioning.
A paradigm shift
How do we approach the design of transition spaces? New scenarios for a paradigm shift:
The project reactivates the IVAM plaza through an accessible and welcoming installation designed for meetings and debates: a space in the form of bleachers or a tribune that promotes dialogue, interaction and diverse uses of public space. This space is also a platform that both monitors and displays parameters in our direct environment that are usually invisible, but are nevertheless essential for the coexistence of people and the rest of the natural ecosystem.
Through its stage-like quality, giving visibility to both people and the environment, the project catalyzes and activates the collective imagination about future transition scenarios towards a more balanced coexistence between humans and nature.
How do we address biodiversity loss? From square to urban forest:
The IVAM pavilion takes advantage of its unique location within the local and regional ecosystems to become a crucial node within them, bridging the gaps between these scales. As such, on the local level, the project is situated close to the natural corridor of the Turia Park and the Albufera Natural Park in Valencia, Spain, an area with a distinctively rich natural ecosystem. On the other hand, addressing the regional scale, the project considers its position as part of the Mediterranean ecosystem at large, which is particularly vulnerable to an accelerated loss of biodiversity due to global climate change.
Considering both the contrast and complementarity aspects of these two scales, the project contributes to their re-naturalization through a strategy of repair and regenerative design, and by hosting organic elements that strengthen the existing biodiversity network. Indeed, the pavilion incorporates into the public space a vegetation system that will eventually attract its own fauna, making visible the dynamic complexity of the ecosystems, from the soil to the species. By doing so, the project seeks to be less of a domesticated garden and more of a native forest.
Circular metabolism and climate conditioning
How do we address resource depletion and climate change? From linear systems to circular metabolism:
The project moves away from the idea of an architectural object and towards that of a system: in its design and all phases of its development, it addresses the complete lifecycle of energy, matter and water. This translates into a construction which minimizes the use of resources and the generation of waste, and remains self-sufficient in terms of energy and water consumption.