Urban Refuges
Espai d´Art Contemporani de Castelló. EACC,
Castellon, Spain
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Designed as minimal spaces for auto-reflexion, Urban Refuges is a series of 6 suspended semi-transparent pods, that temporarily invade the building of the EACC and its public space.
Urban Refuges is an intervention that explores the cultural space and its limits, establishing new links with the urban structure: with the city and its associated landscapes.
The flexible structure of the chrysalides can contain one person inside. Its delicate skin allow the inhabitant to enjoy privacy as well as a softly blurred view of the surrounding world.
EXHIBITION reactivate!!. Remodeled spaces and minimal interventions:
The intervention Urban Refuges is part of the exhibition REACTIVATE!! Remodeled spaces and minimal interventions, an exhibition which takes place at Espai d´Art Contemporani de Castelló, curated by Francesca Ferguson in collaboration with Pepe Ballesteros, REACTIVATE!! is merging two exhibitions organized by the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel (S AM ) in Basel.

The resulting exhibition, brings together a compendium of international, recently-built projects emerging from very different cultural contexts. The exhibition can be seen in two ways: on the one hand, it shows how, with minimal means and resources, architects and designers are able to transform the "most unlikely" urban spaces and buildings so as to adapt them to entirely new uses

Resourceful designs and ventures into problematic or underused spaces of the city and its peripheries need not involve state-of-the-art materials. It is often precariousness, a situation driven by limited budgets and indeterminate settings, which inspires some of the most innovative and dynamic architectural designs.

On the other hand, the exhibition is conceptually linked to the movement known as the Situationist International. In this sense, it has its origins in the radical proclamations developed by the Situationists on transforming architecture and city spaces.

Implicit in the assembled works is a critique of urban design and architectural conventions in an attempt to redefine and extend urban spaces while focusing on the shortcomings of thoroughly planned and rationalised urban environments.

We live in an age dominated by relentless development and gentrification, where urban territories are "cleaned up" meticulously in order to conform with an aesthetic of social acceptability. In this context, the exhibition poses the question: can new architecture devise more subtle ways to interact with a given (an existing) situation? As the curator of Reactivate!! asks herself, can this "lo-tech and laissez-faire design", coupled with the immediacy of the transient urban intervention, present feasible alternatives to the driving force of urban renewal and re-ignite public spaces with new potentialities?

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