domingo, 18 de abril de 2010

Relaxation Park in Torrevieja Toyo Ito



Torrevieja's salt mines occupy a small territory surrounded and threatened by massive urbanization. The quietude and heaviness of the waters of mauve-reddish color and the atmosphere and vegetation that surround the lagoon impose this ambivalent feeling, mix of uneasiness and serenity, that nature in its white primeval condition produces. Near the shore, more than what is permitted and desired, Toyo Ito has designed the Relaxation Park, a set of three buildings and their landscape setting, to be used for -deemed beneficial- baths that people take in the lagoon, something like "Resort of Mud". The Relaxation Park construction was paralyzed by environmental complaints and the only constructed building has been left to the inclemency of the time and of people, assaulted by thieves and hooligans and it has turned in a junkies' refuge; nonetheless, there is something romantic in its damaged but still beautiful image that evokes the disturbing world of the science fiction where there is no future without loss. Some do regard it as a shell and others as a ship.
Toyo Ito shows frankly his on purpose constructive research drawing a cylindrical body of wood that seems to be swirling in a spiral and, resembling the animal that advances crawling on the land, it bows towards a side and then towards the other, widening in its central part and stylizing up to one of the ends, this being closed, while the other end is opened as a great mouth. Its metallic coating of reddish color changes tone with light and dampness. There is neither symmetry nor any visually deducible regularity, and its shape cannot be caught in its entirety neither, unless we look at it with attention from different places for a later reconstruction in our mind. The structural lines follow a spiral that spreads across almost concentric rings that, slightly off axis, introduce a counter-pace and multiply the points of fugue of the loop, creating numerous vortexes and inducing a sensation constant movement, specially in its indoor, where the concentric spirals turn continuously, although only in our eyes.
The building sits on a small artificial hill done for the occasion in the area called "Punta de la Víbora" (Top of the Viper) but, as it has already penetrated the flat and protected perimeter, I would have had preferred that the building were not growing on the land level but it would be emerging from it, as the lagoon does. That seeing and being seen that imposes its height were feel and being felt that the place claims for. The Relaxation Park has overcome the complaints and its construction is going to be continued. Once finished, and in fulfillment of the intended function, it will become a part of the tourist - sanitary tour that Torrevieja offers, to what type of easing will the salt mines be exposed to then?
Alicante 27 noviembre 2007

MÁQUINAS DE VIVIR Flamenco y arquitectura en la ocupación y desocupación de espacios

MÁQUINAS DE VIVIR Flamenco y arquitectura en la ocupación y desocupación de espacios Máquinas de vivir  es un proyecto en torno al diálo...