Architect Joaquín Alvado: “Two concepts summarize my project with Levantina at the Biennale 2016: innovation and sustainability”

How would you resume the work process developed for the creation of the architectural structure Dynamic Cities? 

Dynamic Cities is a working process in which I am immersed since the completion of my thesis in 2003. The working reflection is about the structure of the contemporary city.

What would have happened if, instead of considering the city as a static structure, we would have thought about it as a dynamic structure? Concepts such as energy, citizenship, sustainability, innovation, atmosphere, environment, nature, non-human, society, landscape, field, matter…

They all would be at the basis of our thoughts when we talk about architecture, from the beginning. These concepts would not be displaced to the limits of the architectural discipline, but would be at the heart of this way of thinking. And this is what we wanted to capture in this architectural sculpture.

Which role do Levantina materials perform in Dynamic Cities?

We wanted to work with two concepts which immediately connected with the Levantina Company. The first one was that everything was born from the emptiness of the quarries where the matter is extracted to build cities.

This emptiness was the ideal place for us to think about the change. In recent years cities were considered from the periphery as a model of thought, this model modified those previous based on the historical city center as a place to think about the city and its future.

Matter and time are directly involved in these processes. One element produced by folding allows us to speak about travel and transformation. The structure is heavy but it can fold like an envelope to travel. It also reflects the cities where these changes occur: Dubai, Oasis Mhamid, Düsseldorf, Alicante, Baku, Madrid, Tokyo, Barcelona, Lima, and Hong Kong.

Which impressions can be drawn from the Biennale 2016 opening? 

That some things are changing. In the whole context of the Biennale fewer buildings and more citizens can be seen. This process is something we cannot keep apart from. It is fascinating to reflect, every two years, about what is happening in the world of architecture, this Biennale 2016 is one of the most transformative ones to which I have been able to attend and it has not left anyone indifferent.

What are your thoughts about the award received by the Pavilion of Spain? 

Nowadays the work context in Spain is leaving many things halfway, it is a shame but we cannot look away. Leaving things unfinished has led us to lose an awesome human potential, architects who migrate after unfinished projects. We have to think and take decisions with this respect. “Unfinished” is a fact and a model of thinking for the future.

How do you value Levantina’s bet for the architecture and the Venice Biennale 2016?

During the first conversations held with Levantina there were two words on which we liked to talk and which have been the source of this collaboration: Innovation and sustainability. Nowadays architecture cannot forget about these two words in any of its processes.

For us, as architects Levantina’s bet for change is a commitment to the future and a necessary compensation to the discussion process, which is Venice Biennale. Let’s talk about architecture and do our own share in this process of changing. To be able to bring this discussion to Venice and compare it with the global discussion about what is happening in the architectural word is a matter of pride and a necessity.

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