Maria O’Connor was a participant in the Architect-US program and was able to work in Seattle with JW Architects and she was able to extend her stay past the 18 months afforded to her via the J1 Visa. ARTS CENTER “EL CAPRICHO” was one of the key projects Maria wanted us to highlight for the Portfolio Challenge. She views herself as a functionalist architect, as well as realistic when it comes to planning.
Maria is aware of the environment and the necessity for architecture to solve key design issues necessary for a sustainable future. She is licensed as a LEED Green Associate, and was interested in pursuing the license due to her support of the preservation and reuse of the heritage buildings which have had an important role in the development of the cities and their history.
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For ARTS CENTER “EL CAPRICHO”, the aim of the project is to provide a solution to try and recover the glory period of the “Alameda de Osuna” during the 18th and 19th centuries when the Palace and the Historic Garden were built.
After a deep analysis of the intervention zone, the aim of the project would be to create a new highlight in the neighborhood to attract more tourism and to captivate the attention of the neighbors and community. The idea was developed through the establishment of an Arts Center completing the set along with the Palace and a new building located in the plot adjacent to the old labor house. The new arts center has 1500 square meters only for art exhibitions, as well as some class rooms for different uses, a public library for the neighborhood and a space where the new artists can work and display their art at the same time.
The idea of the art gallery comes from the study of the two most famous museums in Madrid. “Prado” and “Reina Sofia”. Unfortunately, only a 5% of the collection is exposed in there, so the idea is to use the new space to show them to the public and attract more people to the neighborhood.
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Images by Maria O’Connor
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