The architectural project always negotiates with the territory, although sometimes this negotiation comes given to us. At the Lasso Community Center, a neglected neighbourhood of Las Palmas, the existing street and valley topography define a form and a space, the project just limits itself to draw limits, to construct the encounter between a garden and a viewpoint towards the sea. Often the architecture constructs these permissive borders, like the walls raised in valleys to avoid their own erosion.
The desire to create a place is always prior to the architectural accomplishment. The inner garden invents an open collective dominion formed by an enclosing curved wall, the built form and the tree shades. It becomes the scenario for representation of the communitarian use. In between the sea-views and the garden, the longitudinal built balcony watches the Atlantic Ocean, acting as a filter of light, space, northern breeze and contained views.
Versus time, the alive colors and casted shadows flood the facade that overlooks the sea, turning it into a landscape of polarized light. The facade turns into an actor rather than a passive element that just stands and shows. On plan, the built form is a heavy wall on which spaces are carved and oriented to catch snapshots and air of the exterior. The building section gently negotiates the sloping topography allowing for two accesses at different levels.
Architecture that almost with the ease of farming becomes content of the territory and incarnation of the Canarian landscape, full of color, dry mud walls, torrents and drains.
Location: Las Palmas, Canary Islands
Architects: Romera y Ruiz Arquitectos