conceptual design

Malaga City Center

Upon the city of Malaga, in southern Andalusia, many different cultures had a large impact, a city that reached its commercial and modern height in the 19th century. Although being divided by the river Guadalmedina, it never had a waterfront that would assure a solid image for itself. Malaga has been a victim of urban fragmentation, and this phenomenon coincided with the fragmentation of its waterfront. Only in the last few years this became an important design issue, a relevant question for its subsequent development. The state in which the river finds itself, illustrates its riverbed as a deserted area, an unused residual space. Surely, for a city divided by water as many are, the idea of a sensible intervention becomes an interesting way of linking the community both physically and symbolically, as a continuous urban experience. This deserted place therefore needs reinventing and repopulating with various human activities. There is a need of creating a Center, a meeting place for those belonging to each side of the city. Malaga never had a consolidated image towards the river. Its cultural and historical multiplicity is now illustrated at the edge of the water. The Guadalmedina River as an Urban Threshold: Thresholds are where transformations begin, where exchanges between unfamiliar and unlikely thing occur, where identities are declared. Because they are the result of dynamic relationships, between architecture and landscape, between public and private, work and recreation, they withstand the passing of time in terms of meaning and function. Opposed to the idea of a melting pot, where identities blend into one another to create a compromise, the threshold suggests the maintaining of differences and the creation of something new from their coexistence. The waters path will reproduce the sensation of negotiating ones way carefully through the city, unveiling and confirming movements that have been here for generations. The intertwining of new paths and configurations with pre-existing ones, both natural and artificial, will build an urban landscape layered in both time and space. The personality of this new-imagined Hybrid is a celebration of complexity, variety and programmatic diversity. Each hybrid is an unique creation set apart from previous patterns. The building itself becomes an innovative idea, resolved outside pre-existing combinations of usual programs, justifying its existence on the novelty of the approach and the unexpected mixture of functions. The hybrid is an opportunistic building, taking advantage of its multiple abilities. It searches for unpredictable relationships, like the threshold also does, encourages coexistence, being at the same time aware that the approach of un-programmed situations is the key to its future. The capacity of the hybrid building to generate cities comes from their talent to negotiate congestions, to overlap matching programs and to create connections rather than segregations. In the search of models capable also of saving resources, hybrid buildings are samples of opportunity that include the gene of diversity embedded onto their code. This gene is vital for their adaptation to the present zeitgeist.




Malaga, Spain

Creative Director

Arthur Toth

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