The Spring Semester 2019 focused its investigation in the Spanish city of Valencia as a port city, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. Despite being famous as a city for its floods and culture, the River Turia became a vital project in re-shaping the developments of the city, transforming an old water course into a green belt, becoming a cultural attraction known as the garden of the Turia. The green corridor connects the historical districts with the water front and future developments of the city marked by iconic destinations like the City of Arts and Science by Santiago Calatrava . The students focused their research and projects on resolving the sudden disconnection between the linear park to the port, and its pros and cons on understanding and navigation of the city.
Through collaboration and group work, the students looked at the existing conditions of the garden of Turia, the port and the in-between areas. The city was understood as layers of information. The students conceptualised and created their own design narratives of their projects. By analysing the city's complex infrastructure – both social and geographical – each student developed their own brief to target and reveal their specific design agendas.
Design proposals were multi-scalar in scope, enabling architectural propositions to respond to a larger narrative relating to the aesthetic, programmatic and socio-economic capacities of the city and its infrastructure. Students were expected to explore their own aesthetic style as an outcome of the process, and engage with the ongoing dialogue between two- and three-dimensional representation, revealing unpredictable qualities that inspire their design narratives.
Noel Zhikun Zheng
Marie-Isabel de Monseignat-Lavrov