MIT Spring 2020
Course: 4.154 / Strategies of Conciliation
Instructors: Inaqui Carnicero and Lorena del Rio
TA: Michael Stradley
For centuries, Plaza de la Cebada was an open space within the fabric of Madrid. In its openness, and with its lack of specificity, the plaza served as a public place of possibility where the strange intermingling of activity allowed the life of the city to unfold. Today, the plaza is interrupted large domed structure housing small shops. How might we free the ground plane of the plaza to produce an urban grey area that belongs to both the city and the structure that will house the programs of arts organization, Intermediae. Rather than simply advocating for a return to some earlier condition through a flattening of the site, can we imagine building off of what is there today in order to produce a new public space of possibility?
This project approaches the question of adaptive reuse through the lens of structural reinterpretation. Rather than reproducing the orthogonal grain of the existing structure, the structure is a composite of zig zagging trusses and slabs. The trusses are mirrored on every level such that half of the slab is supported from below and half hangs from trusses above producing large areas free vertical structure and also freeing half of the corners of the building. The whole structure can be understood as a beam where the floor slabs are the flanges and the walls are the webs. As we move up through the building, height and scale of the structural members shrinks, correlating too smaller loads towards the top of the building as well as more intimate programs.
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