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IEAP - 1240
Universidad de Alicante / es Spain
1 members
Marta Ariza Béixer

Project type:
Reforma Y Rehabilitación

Barcelona has been the only place where bullfighting has been prohibited in Spain. Las Arenas, the most important bullring of Barcelona has been repurposed into a mall. However, according to present social situation, La Monumental bullring should move away from this preconceived use.
Nowadays, the common characteristic of iconic contemporary architecture is contributing to create an useless shrill image without any meaning to modern urban environment. Simultaneously, we, as citizens, have allowed monumental buildings to be generalised, turned them into meaningless and unrelated city icons.
At the same time, we are facing the toughest economic and social crisis. As philosopher Debord states, a social iconoclastic vision is needed to wake up present society. In my point of view and based on my usual approach to an architectural project, the design process evolves from an evocative form or image which is related to the program of use, to the folklore and to the surrounding environment.
Bullfighting is considered to be an obsolete harmful tradition by many citizens from Barcelona. This fact establishes the need of dissociate Neomudejar style from bullfighting folklore. The separation between appearance and program is the start point for the refurbishment project. Although an iconoclastic repurposing view might seem to imply a nonsense destruction, an extremely careful restoration is viable by following the doctrines stated by Carlos A. Otero, Gottfried Boehm, Boris Groys, Hans Belting, Marie-José Mondzain, W.J.T. Mitchell, Bruno Latour and Manuel Delgado. The up-cycled architecture is thought as a way of cultural criticism, communication vehicle and an truly image of society feelings.
For this reason, La Monumental is vandalised/ An iconoclastic refurbishment project marks my new design way. Starting from an icon, from an unpopular monument, and following modern iconoclastic doctrines will define this design thought. Doctrines such as german Aufhebung, iconic denial, excess suppression and the assertion that the only true image is reality, will lead the design process.
Iconographic abstractions are indispensable during my design process. Two main goals stand out when confronting a project, giving priority to social context versus emphasising iconographic space transformations. Nevertheless, this kind of abstraction might create useless and nonsense architecture when misleading and forgetting the program.
On one hand, an iconoclastic Neomudejar refurbishment is needed by La Monumental. Simultaneously, a program is requested to be part of this iconoclastic thought.
In order to continue with the iconoclastic rhetorical, changeable and contemporary artistic uses must develop the new program for the building. Escena Poblenou, Swab, WeArt, OFFF, Grec and Bac are six urban contemporary art festivals taking place in Barcelona across the entire year, however, none of them owns a specific building or facilities to be performed. They rent a total of 50 different buildings, lofts and cafes with its inclusive time restrictions. The fact that La Monumental could shelter these six art festivals, does not imply cutting off their implicit urban feeling. La Monumental would temporary welcome them out of their usual schedule, which would make easier for visitors to explore the exhibitions.
A theatre, two rehearsal rooms, a training space, one pressroom, a 7/11 reception, an art archive, six independent offices and ten workshops are the festival outputs. A museum with a permanent collection and a travelling one is my own input.
The permanent exhibition would shelter artwork from past festival editions inside greenhouse containers in an open space structure. The travelling collection would show videos and images from the urban festivals hanged from the ceiling in chandelier structures. The open air theatre would have several purposes, a music stage, an open air playroom and a meeting point.

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