"La Valentina” | El Fabricante de Espheras

Ephemeral pavilion for the urban planning week of València Valencia / Spain / 2022

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The square located between Mercado Central and La Lonja is the place where, from the 16th century onwards, the market stalls were set up. On these stalls products from across the territory were sold.


The landscape was shaped by awnings hanging from different structures for sun protection. It was under its shadow where people used to gather for talking, trading or resting purposes, so they were part from the daily movement of people in the market.


A design competition was held due to València’s urban planning week in 2020. They were seeking for an ephemeral architecture which would serve as a pavilion as well as a meeting point for the event activities. The place was to transmit the values of urban planning which shown the identity of the city but was also a meeting point for people.


The global pandemic resulted in a postponement of the 2020’s urban planning week until May 2021. Along with the Plaza del Mercado’s refurbishment led to the displacement of the whole thing from Plaza del Mercado to Plaza del Ayuntamiento, including La Valentina’s installation.


La Valentina was an ephemeral installation which recovered the concept of a sheltering shadow creating place for gathering and sharing. Ephemeral and hanged from a ring-shaped structure. a set of tote bags were enveloping the space and framing the domes and beacons of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento’s buildings.


The conceptual framework of this intervention was based in two fundamental exes; on the one hand, the lecture of the singular environment of the square, and on the other hand, the visibility achieved thanks to the urban planning week in terms of reflections on public space being brought to the table. The intervention was understood as a physical manifesto which expressed, small scale, the concerns of the urban gender-responsive urban planning.


·         The recovery of scope for action recalling the activities of the market as well as its aromas, taste and textures.


·         The city as a booster of proximity consumer policies making it more sustainable and reducing single-use containers and plastics.


One of the key objectives of intervention was the enhancement of public space as a trade one based on its landscape. Aromas, sounds, activities or materiality are essential for the enjoyment of the cities we live in.


As a starting point, it was proposed to use two basic elements which, in the collective imagination, are associated with the market, such as: awning fabrics and wooden fruit boxes. The intervention suggested the creation of a concave space which embraced the space creating a small agora to serve as a meeting point.


A ring-shaped central structure made of metal was bearing the tote bags which created shaded spaces on the boxes, emulating market’s awnings. Wooden boxes were located on the floor, as well as planters and micro-topography games.


The very last day of the urban planning week the installation was completely disassembled with the help of neighbours and market’ users. The tote bags, boxes, ropes and plants were given to the attendees. The metallic structure was stored in expectation of a new final location in a city square or park.


 

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    The square located between Mercado Central and La Lonja is the place where, from the 16th century onwards, the market stalls were set up. On these stalls products from across the territory were sold. The landscape was shaped by awnings hanging from different structures for sun protection. It was under its shadow where people used to gather for talking, trading or resting purposes, so they were part from the daily movement of people in the market. A design competition was held due to...

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