Project description by jury
This project transforms a pier and the adjoining bay at La Punta de San Felipe in the north of Cádiz that forms an inlet particularly exposed to the prevailing east-west winds that funnels through the Strait of Gibraltar. Geomorphological conditions of the area lead to a periodic accumulation of sand at the right extremity of the bay. Based upon this situation, the proposal suggests the creation of a dune-beach that grows naturally through the adoption of two main design elements: a wind wall and a park. The wind wall is conceived as a high-tech gigantic sculpture that acts as a wind barrier that slows wind speed and allows airborne sand particles to land and form the dune. The protective wall rises over a pre-existing structure which now hosts a number of facilities including a restaurant, library and art gallery. Part of this “living” wall is gradually buried by sand deposits as the dune grows. Ventilation and daylight are then ensured by big “light cannons” that emerge from the sand like art pieces. On the right side of the wind wall, a landscape intervention converts the current pier into an urban park which anchors the dune while offering the city a new recreational space where the prevailing winds are mitigated. Based on a series of studies, the author estimates that the sand beach will start to appear after three years and that the sand accumulated at the base of the wind wall will ultimately reach a height of 16 meters.
This project, merging landscape and architectural design with ecological insights, attracted the attention of the jury for its creativity but also for the impressive research work that the proposal is built upon. The LafargeHolcim Awards jury Europe highly appreciated the technology-driven and ecological approach of the design which ultimately leads to a strong and provocative reconfiguration of the city coastline, while offering tangible benefits for its inhabitants, the tourism industry and the local ecosystem. In particular, the harnessing of natural phenomena as part of the coastal infrastructure was a strong contribution.
The main objective of the research is to focus on the construction process by studying and analyzing the potential of a location surroundings. By controlling wind and sea flows, we can benefit from its energy to build up a new realm with the minimum energy production efforts.
It is mandatory to not generate more waste. The abandoned spaces and buildings are studied to build the proposal from their structures and foundations. Not only buildings or constructions are considered ready-made objects. Natural accumulations such as sand and sediments are indicators of energy flows that affect the area. Both of them are part of the readymade to build up from.
The final project is divided into three different segments: Dune, wall and park. All of them are interconnected to strengthen each other. The wall works as a wind flow controller. Keeping the sand away from west winds, but also reducing the speed of flow affecting the park. The dune feeds the beach of sand working as a sand bank. It is also the habitat to local plants that were once removed from their place. The park is the catalyst to enlarge the dune in early phases but also is the plant nursery to have permanent access to treat damaged flora.See more
The cove of La Punta de San Felipe at the Andalusian port city of Cadiz is exposed to strong winds that cause vast amounts of sand to accumulate. Madrid architect Javier Estebala Alández proposes the solution of redesigning the coastal zone with a dune beach. “The project focuses on a large-scale transformation using the power of sea and wind to create a new geography in the city,” he explains. The design consists of three main elements. An imposing high-tech structure serves as a windbreak and catches wind-borne sand particles that settle at the foot of the structure. This creates the second element, a dune that will gradually grow over an existing structure. The third element is an adjacent jetty to be transformed into a public park.
“The project plays with a whole range of topics,” praises jury member Marilyne Andersen, “with arts, the notion of shelter, comfort, and basic bioclimatic principles.” The Awards jury was furthermore impressed by the use of natural phenomena as part of the coastal reconfiguration. The project, according to their unanimous opinion, offers benefits for the population, the ecosystem, and tourism. Andersen: “It tries to bring everything into a utopian proposal. It has all the ingredients that show a convincing awareness to what makes a sustainable project.”Read more »
Project video on Accumulating Shelter in Spain – Dune reconstructive bayside infrastructure by Javier Estebala Alández, …
Author comment by Javier Estebala Alández, architect, Madrid, Spain on Accumulating Shelter in Spain – Dune …
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