Gran Canaria, Spain
Martín & Mazza
Paradise also needs a little push every once in a while.
There are no worse waters than those that are docile. The sun and excellent climate year-round require interventions that understand local needs and that improve the habitat a bit (not excessive sunlight, measured airflow, generation of new destinations, etc.). We pursue touching the right buttons so that the metabolism of the place flourishes naturally.
We found this humble approach right for El Muelle shopping center at Gran Canaria Island: acupuncture in paradise.
It would be crazy to think that architecture does not drink from its environment, either in a more direct way, focusing on the smallest detail or even something as abstract as a concept. It is therefore undeniable the obvious presence of the sea in this context that is presented to us, thus drinking the Mall of the same; in the same way that the sea is seen as something unlimited, understanding it in reference to its lack of borders/limits existence, the building in reciprocity imitates it.
The large scale always present in shopping centers which makes them an overwhelming experience and very dependent on the distribution capacity and spatial organization of their services.
It is a common challenge to choose an efficient way to show itself to the user, usually opting to generate nodes and call points that promote this fluidity of users; working from the point to the general.
With El Muelle an inverse strategy is proposed, starting from the totality of the set, as a large space full of possibilities that are allowed to shape according to their audience. It develops even beyond that, conceiving it not only as a building but extending the limits beyond it, indirectly conquering the city.
Like the forward-return of the waves at sea, this concept is applied to determine the same relationship between the exterior and interior of El Muelle, the services offered inside the center are not relieved to something as banal as placing them statically inside but expanding, growing and relocating outside the center; Similarly, the interior spaces are transformed as if they were open areas, providing freedom of movement and permeability in their facades, that is, in their limits.
The adaptation that takes place is something very natural, so it is also reflected in its colors and textures more vivid. User activities are also not encapsulated by edges, but are provided with a surface on which to work and adapt as required, it is in this flexibility that you find the appeal of this wide space that we talked about before, from being overwhelming to turning it into a melting pot of activities that not only varies in space but in time as several activities can be developed in that environment but at different times.