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Competition: El Almacén Square, Lanzarote

El Almacén Square in Arrecife, Lanzarote

An open international contest has been announced for a £309,000 overhaul of El Almacén Square in Arrecife, Lanzarote

Open to students, architects and other disciplines, the anonymous competition seeks radical ideas to transform the underused 1,000m² public plaza into a social, cultural and leisure space capable of hosting various events.

The project, backed by the Cabildo of Lanzarote, aims to create a recreational hub for the island’s capital city by upgrading the unattractive and unwelcoming square, which is currently used for unregulated car parking and due to be reconstructed to accommodate a new subterranean storm water tank. Once completed, the scheme will satisfy a long-held ambition of the city to deliver an open-air civic space serving the nearby El Almacén arts complex which opened 28 years ago.

According to the brief: ‘This space has always been a green area in the urban plan of the city. That is why the people of Lanzarote promote an initiative to change this situation and turn this space into a lung and cultural heart of Arrecife.

‘Aware of the need to value creation and culture and offer the city a place of leisure and enjoyment, the Cabildo of Lanzarote is launching a contest of ideas to create a space for people, not for vehicles; a green space, which protects from the sun, where children play, where concerts are held, markets are opened … in short, a place of encounter, of passion, of art and a place for the citizen, a changing square, a more human square.’

Lanzarote is a Spanish island within the Canary Islands archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. El Almacén Square is a small city centre square currently featuring a paved area, street lighting, several trees and an unofficial car park.

The latest project aims to transform the underused plaza into a new social, cultural and recreational space. The scheme coincides with the creation of a new stormwater tank beneath the square and the demolition of a small single-storey building along its northern border.

The Lanzarote Dynamic Square contest, organised by Seville-based Rethinking Competitions, is open to teams of students, architects and related professions. Teams should include an architect who is either Spanish or able to team up with a local practice to deliver the scheme.

Proposals should deliver shaded areas and provide the possibility for outdoor film screenings, concerts, markets and temporary restaurants and bars. A permanent Wifi connection and electrical output will also be required.

Judges include Javier López Rivera, professor at the School of Architecture of Seville; local cultural coordinator José Carlos Márquez; city engineer Antonio Cárdenas; and Juan Palop Casado, professor of urbanism at the School of Architecture of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

There will be a first prize of £5,300, a second prize of £3,500, and third prize of £1,700, along with 10 honourable mentions. All prize-winning teams will be considered for the £26,000 commission to deliver the scheme.

The deadline for applications is 23 March.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Rethinking Competitions
Calle José Laguillo 27
Bloque 7 Local 1B
Sevilla 41003

Tel: +34 955 54 29 92 , +34 627 706 234
Email: contact@rethinkingcompetitions.com