Project for public space


AUTHOR: Irene Campo
PLACE: Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain
YEAR: 2017
STATUS: Unbuilt
INSTAGRAM: @inerecampo


The project started from an approach to the landscape based on two opposite scales to become a project for public space. The first is the cosmic scale in which the Moon and the Sun move a huge mass of water in a constant but variable way. It depends on the position of these two stars in the monthly cycle and with respect to the Earth.

Secondly, a very close scale in which sea water is associated to a measure of time [5cm of sea water height rising or descending correspond to 20 minutes of time]. The latter can only be appreciated by placing an object/reference within this landscape. This is how the project arose: as an excuse to play with these two scales.

After this starting point, the project evolves to become a project for public space in the middle of the estuary. The part of the project under the high tide level is built with concrete blocks into different heights, to trick the rhythm of the tide and create leisure spaces.

All services that must be dry and that are necessary to complement the leisure water spaces are in wood constructions above the height of the high tide.

The three water tank towers close the project not only functionally but also architecturally. A project that, besides understanding the landscape with subtlety, ends up being a sign of optimism about how Architecture (construction, materials, spatiality, users and program) is able to adapt to an unusual environment and in it, generate new tensions, new uses and a different perception of what surrounds it, from inside and outside.

Tutor Carlos García Fernández comment. The project is deeply rooted in its context in many ways. It is not only the result of a rigorous research on the physical conditions of the landscape it is inserted. It also establishes a strong argument on the essence of a project for public space.

The project strengthens the opportunities found on the site, the program and the social context and builds a place in a subtle dialog with water, atmosphere and time variations.

Construction strategies are technically developed according to the nature of the found conditions combining massive concrete dams and light steel and polycarbonate structures. On another layer, all materials in touch with human skin, such as wood and water, are thought to create a comfortable and pleasant leisure space for community. The result is a project for public space that activates extraordinarily the space of the sea and highlights with great sensibility the natural conditions of Pontevedra’s estuary.


Irene Campo is an spanish architect graduated with honours (Cum Laude) in Politecnica University in Madrid. She works as a freelance architect and she has recently won the Europan competition with her team Espacio Vacante.


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