babel

Graduate Final Thesis

ETSAM / UPM / MADRID

JUL 2018

 

TUTORS

Chema Lapuerta / Manuel Ocaña / Adelino Magalhaes

 

Assistant tutors

Pía Mendaro / Adrián Úbeda / Daniel Guerra / Miguel Molins / Vicente Monroy

 

 

STATEMENT

When we look at the horizon, it allows us to project our visions and ideas. During an instant in time, we can fine tune our focus and as though by magic we arrive at our purpose. In Spanish it is said that we go “De Madrid al Cielo” ("from Madrid to heaven"), but we do not know where that path ends. As a Majorcan, the sea is part of my soul and Madrid is a city that has no ocean. I do not miss the sea because of what it is, but because of the line it creates between sky and water: our clearest concept of a horizon.

 

In Madrid, the horizon is hidden behind the surrounding outskirts, the mountains, the towering attractions in the Theme Park or behind the skyscrapers like the Bankia offices. Everywhere else, it is almost impossible to see. The city is somehow always in the way and finding a clear view within more than 2 miles is complicated. But the project BABEL is willing to give you that view.

 

BABEL is a vertical city that arises from the heart of Azca, next to Picasso square. BABEL is the expression of urbanism in heights: a structural master plan that divides the skyscraper  into twelve separate and autonomous volumes constructing six steel trays to separate these spaces. This building has no permanent owners, instead the volumes are colonized temporarily by the highest bidders.

 

These different actors, who adapt to the rules of each of the volumes, respecting that parts of the volumes have to be public space, use the legal restrictions as tools to define the different uses that grow from each section of the tower until its coronation; three hundred and fifty meters high.

 

If we travel through the different levels of the building, we will find different atmospheres, both private and public, which will allow us, among other things, to admire the sunrise and sunset. In the end, it lets us find a public space where our economic resources do not get in the way of our contemplation of the horizon.

 

Parks, gardens, pools, sport facilities, restaurants, theaters, museums, apartments, hotels... BABEL is an optimist view that provides sustainable solutions for the growth of the mega-cities. This proposal for both public and private uses of this structure, is an architectural experiment that explores many ways of experiencing skyscrapers without elite or socioeconomic restrictions.

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