Client: Europan 14
Status: Design – Competition entry
Location: Alcoy, ES
With: Flavio Graviglia
Alcoy cannot miss the opportunity of rejuvenating Al Azraq square as a vibrant centrality devoted to innovation. The project is based on a solid feasibility strategy aiming at a rapid and effective development. Private investments are encouraged through revenue opportunities while public facilities are guaranteed by urbanization fees. The new urban layout improves the connection between Carrer Pare Poveda (and highway A7) to the main artery, Carrer Juan Gil Albert, while envisioning two new buildings that redefine the currently neglected clearing into two pleasant squares. The main square is defined by a C-shaped multipurpose building: EL PÓRTICO. This partly enclosed public space is based on a grid pattern where palm trees alternate with small devices fostering urban activation (kiosks, pavilions, sport facilities, the old locomotive).
EL PÓRTICO is a space of urban coalescence, a dynamic hub connecting the productive activities to city life. A giant order portico allows the public space to penetrate the building at the ground floor, where 4500sqm of retail and small scale manufacturing spaces open towards the city. 16500sqm of parking are provided underground. The second level provides 5000m2 for urban productivity. A double height open space allows for the maximum flexibility of use and partitioning. Several mezzanine structures extend the surface and define particular areas throughout the continuous space. The exterior distribution is boosted in size to extend the interior activities to the outside.
Three main sub-programs are identified:  start up spaces are allocated through public tender,  co-working spaces, workshops, and meeting rooms are offered or rented out, and  a fablab with a wide range of equipment is made available to creative talents, artisans, and entrepreneurs. This productive space is intended to foster networking through the encouragement of proactive proximity. The sharing of the means of production, partially offered by the municipality in order to boost economic development, establishes a virtuous system of aggregation and innovation.
On top, two residential volumes match the height of the adjacent buildings. The slab (1100sqm) provides small subsidized units (50sqm) for startuppers and young entrepreneurs working downstairs (house-workplace proximity), while the tower (1400sqm) hosts bigger apartments (90sqm) to be placed on the market. A huge rooftop with leisure facilities and vegetable gardens is shared by the residents, and a kindergarten (350sqm) completes what is on offer to the inhabitants. The continuous shading systems and several technical equipments, such as solar panels, water collectors, and geothermal accumulators, assure the self-sufficiency and sustainability of the complex.