El Risco de San Nicolás; a hardly accessible historical favela-like suburb of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain), shows huge social and urban deficiencies. Located just one street away, Triana, the wealthy neighbour district, stands as the main commercial and social area in the city. The Avenue Primero de Mayo, with high corporative buildings, acts as a physical and visual border that emphasizes these differences. The project wants to take advantage of its border location to become a hinge between two worlds.
The social and urban strategy with the concept of lifting the buildings, including “the void” as key element in the design, responds to the problems on three scales: City, Neighbourhood and Building, improving accesibility between both districts, reactivating the neighbourhood and providing the buildings with spaces for social encounter.
The concept of “oblique sight” is the key element that links the project from Triana (0m) to El Risco (+24m). Object of the project is the design of two necessary (complementary) facilities: A Kindergarten and a Cohousing for the elderly.
Classrooms are configured as floating volumes, organized in a vertical and topological order that relates to the age of the children, improving the relationships between them. The groundfloor level is conceived as a void to give the neighborhood a new green space and to provide children with a waving garden under their classrooms.
Covered little spaces at the entrances of the dwellings are proposed, provided with the perfect conditions for their appropiation, inspired by neighbourhood traditions. The ground floor (la plaza) is configured in two levels visually connected, a new place for social interaction.