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
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