FROM RING TO GRID
Iñaki Harosteguy, 2019
LA PLATA CITY, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA.
In 1889, seven years after its foundation, the City of La Plata obtained the 1st Prize at the Universal Exposition in Paris as «City of the future» and «Best Built Realization», an event that symbolized the consecration of new hygienist, positivist and republican ideas after the Industrial Revolution. More than 100 years later, faced with an overflowing and disoriented current scenario, we asked ourselves how to update the foundational plan by reinterpreting the grid in a completely different way with the only premise of operating with the unpredictable condition of what has not yet arrived.
From understanding its historical, productive and geological logics, the aim is to define a new form of the city, a clear image that is reduced to a simple and repetitive expression, defining the minimum and necessary to leave in the hands of the inhabitants, the initiative to give them meaning.
The new city, organized under the strict laws of a grid as a geometric support and rule of order, is inscribed in a mosaic of nine equal and non-specific spaces to be filled in different ways; nine possible scenarios reflecting the instability of life itself. Thus, the architecture establishes the fixed as well as the flexible character of the city, the determining factor of the «framework» and the unpredictability of its «content».
The definition of precise perimeters aims to colonize the territory generating a dense and compact city against the exodus to the peripheries. These limits are authentic linear infrastructures that incorporate ephemeral uses in their route and meeting places while activating new links that did not exist until then. An autonomous piece, as radical as it is abstract, as precise as it is indeterminate, as static and balanced as it is flexible, a piece that attends to local contingency while maintaining general continuity. A super support structure that introduces order and performativity to its dna.
The project aims to artificialize the environment in order to create the conditions to understand the city as a living entity intimately related to nature, a landscape built by technical and geological substrates as a new topography that reintroduces the pre-existing nature in an attempt to blur the natural/artificial binomial and the conventional differences between architecture and landscape.