FLOW. Vegetal canvas
Bilbao, Spain
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Flow proposes the creation of a surface formed by multiple vegetal modules—integrated fragments forming a great chromatic mosaic—where diverse varieties of flowers and plants dissolve together in a canvas of multiple ranges, textures, and scents.

Flow is located next to the Bilbao river, in the center of the Azoka Square, the social, sporting, and cultural center of activities of the neighborhood of Zorroza. Zorroza is located at the extreme western end of Bilbao, between the Basurto neighborhood and Cadagua river, which is the natural border between the municipal areas of Bilbao and Baracaldo. The particular characteristics between Zorroza and the rest of Bilbao have created a feeling of property between the neighbors of the district. The Azoka Square is delimited by important natural and urban elements: the river of Bilbao; the mountains; the A-8 highway; apartment buildings; sporting, social, and cultural centers; as well as industrial buildings in disuse.

Relationship with the District
Inspired by the cultivation patterns of rural landscapes, Flow proposes the creation of a fragmented landscape inserted into the city square, reinterpreting the diverse urban pieces that form the square's surroundings into a series of small fragments that interlace and dilute in a great natural canvas of diverse colors of the city.
The project is related to its surroundings and to Zorroza through diverse scales and visual levels. On the one hand, it establishes an urban-scale relationship with the buildings that delimit the square: from the interiors and higher levels of the buildings around the square, it is possible to observe the patterns of the colorful vegetal canvas in full. On the other hand, Flow establishes a more approximately scaled relationship at the ground level, where the natural canvas appears as a big garden within the city, in which people can recognize and observe in detail each one of the species that form the project.

Vegetal Grid
The project is within a grid of an 1184 square feet, made up of 336 modules. Flow uses 155 varieties of flowers and plants of diverse colors and tonalities: from purple to blue, pink to red, passing through orange, yellow, and green, and ending in a darker brown. Some of the species used include flowers like petunias, tagetes, impatiens, begonias, surfinias, celosías, lobelias, argeratums, verbenas, guineanas, stipas, and cinerarias, as well as aromatic herbs such as thyme, oregano, lemongrass, rosemary, and mint.

Modular System of Geotextile Cultivation
The identically sized units that form the grid were made with a modular cultivation system, with each unit being twenty-two inches wide, twenty-four inches long, and one inch thick. The system uses plants that were grown within soilbags made of an agricultural geotextile that is water permeable and photodegradable, and that contains a substrate adapted for the good growth of the plants. The plants were precultivated for eight weeks in a greenhouse outside of Bilbao before being placed on-site. Once its plant has sprouted, flowered, and taken root in the substrate, each module reaches a degree of homogenous growth.

Project made within ex-studio by Ivan Juárez and Patricia Meneses

colaboration: Claire Lavenir and Salomé Ayuso
greenhouse: Cooperativa Garaia
Event: Bilbaogarden
Organized by: Fundación Bilbao 700, Ayuntamiento de Bilbao
Curator: Artur Bossy