Puertochico Plaza & Market
The plaza, a former elevated leftover space on top of Puertochico Market, and until now segregated from city life, is reconnected to the neighborhood through the construction of a broad flight of steps that also act as an urban grandstand, facing the afternoon sun and the busy street life. This enables an easy access and a renewed use of the elevated plaza, with children’s playground, extensive flowerbed plantings and long perimeter benches. The new intervention deliberately reduces the range of gestures and materials in an aim to introduce an abstract and homogeneous counterpoint to a discordant urban environment, resolving all perimeter benches and plantings with a single detail and the entire paving surface with a single floor piece. The new all-embracing carpet-like paving produces a certain volumetric, Op-Art effect, de-contextualizing the preexisting cultural centre which sits in the middle of the plaza and appears to hover over this carpet, which itself floats over the street. The paving is made up by EcoGranic® prefab coloured concrete pieces which filter NOx and perform as active de-contaminants.
Plantings are laid with aromatic and Atlantic species and little maintenance required. They are organized in parallel bands producing colour fringes and a selective blockage of immediate views from within the plaza.
The project is the first phase of a global redevelopment of the existing market below, which will be updated and completed with outdoor restaurants, gastro-stands and a new image in a strategic location, at the same time close to the city’s centre, the seafront and the touristic enclaves.
He has taught in Universidad Javeriana Bogotá (2007-2009), FebelCem Antwerp (2008), Lasalle Tarragona (2009), Escola da Cidade Sao Paulo (2010), Architecture Faculty Ljubljana (2010), Católica de Lima (2012), Escuela de Arquitectura de Pamplona (2012), and Camilo José Cela (2003) and UPSAM (2012) Universities in Madrid. He is co-founder of the Symmetries (symmetries.es) teaching platform for workshops & congresses; Split (2011), Rome (2012) and Lisbon (2012). He is Teaching Curator for Arquitectura Ibérica, Fundación Arquitectura y Sociedad (2012-).
After working in the office of Rafael Moneo (1998-2001), he established GARCIAGERMAN ARQUITECTOS (garciagerman.com) in 2003, an office devoted to the exploitation of practical opportunities connecting the fields of education and research with those of building activity. The office has obtained 14 national or international prizes and its built work has won Prizes in the Madrid Town Hall’s Architecture and Urbanisms Prizes in 2001 and 2007. Europan 9’s First Prize Nacka Rings project has been selected as one of the 28 best realizations of Young Spanish Architecture at the Arquía/Próxima Forum 2008. In 2009, the experimental housing project Prototipo Periférico Nº2 was selected for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2009. The office’s work is currently exhibited in the Galería de Arquitectura El Croquis in El Escorial, Madrid, and has been included in different collective exhibitions.
Jacobo García-Germán has curated the exhibitions APFC-ASAP (Madrid ETSAM, 2010) and Madrid Arhitektura (Ljubljana T5 Project Space, 2010) presenting the collective academic results of his teaching activity. He has lectured in different forums and institutions worldwide and his texts and works have been published in specialised books and magazines (Oris, Verb-Actar, Arquitectura Viva, Arquitectos CSAE, Pasajes, CIRCO, On Diseño, AArchitecture, BAU…).