Nieves Andrea Calvo joined our Architect-USJob+J1 Visa Program last year, and they submitted a project for the Portfolio Challenge called Atmósferas del Pecado. She was able to make her way to New York City and join Andrea Steele at Andrea Steele Architects (ASA). She is also the co-founder of Les Hof-Architects, which she started back in 2016.
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“Atmospheres of the sin” comes from an intense phenomenological and urban analysis of the context of Bordeaux city, where we add a field of personal experimentation regarding the French culture of seduction and transgression. This context provides many references of the notion of “TheTemple”, a concept where we can dive into a new semantic and formal game, therefore creating a new hybrid.
Based on these insights, a new path is opened for development of all these cultural layers by identifying a careless space built from a few Second World War submarine hangars, with a large-scale. The submarine base of Bordeaux is in the harbour of Bassin à Flot; which rehabilitation, like one more piece inside the city, is the end of an urban regeneration, which concerns the river Garonne and that has turned Bordeaux into a “Urban laboratory “.
It is precisely this large-scale space the one that assembles a very “French sensibility” for large projects. We play with it deliberately, to introduce later a small experiences program with spectacles from nomadic urban interventions. These interventions are moved using barges. “Barges of the sin” are lodged in the hangars in winter, and also provide them scenic content. Thus, the project is constructed in three scales, with the rehabilitation of the Submarine Base as a hinge of the project.
Using these three strategies, a piece with a historical relevant content for the city is recovered; a rejected building for many inhabitants and which demolition has been under consideration. For its intervention, it was necessary to create the planimetries of the ruin because there were no previous plans. A constructive hypothesis allowed us to generate rehabilitation criteria that emphasize the building’s value, with an ephemeral intervention whose disappearance would not suppose any ruin damage.
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Images by Nieves Andrea Calvo
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