Gran Canaria Trade Fair Master Plan

Redacción del Plan especial de Ordenación del área Recinto Ferial de Canarias (SG-11) de la Institución Ferial de Canarias (INFECAR. Feria de Gran Canaria)

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands,


Cabildo de Gran Canaria

Master Plan

12 hectares

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Pre-certification. BREEAM_Urbanismo Rating (expected): Excellent Certificate of Satisfactory Execution

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Gran Tarajal Fair Complex

The current Gran Tarajal Fair is on the beachfront, between a promenade and the socalled Barranco de Gran Tarajal (the largest ravine on the Island). The project aims to refurbish the functional, material and accessibility conditions of the current space. The strategy includes opening the perimetral wall to make it more permeable to transit and redesigning the stage area and the kiosks to accommodate toilets and a cafeteria.

The design maintains the existing cubic volumes that house the stage and the kiosks. The intervention adds to each one a stand in the lower part, compacted earth walls in the intermediate, and a green roof with a wooden pergola that provides shade and support for the plants. This pattern is used for the auditorium and the kiosks. It aims to create an abstract urban landscape dominated by stands and landscaped pergolas that gives all buildings a similar and neutral character, regardless of size and functional program. This new space should invite spontaneous and daily use by neighbours and visitors, complementing the more formal cultural events throughout the year.

The new fair complex and its surroundings include a drainage solution based on natural infiltration systems that avoids compromising the public space from flooding with heavy rains. The project consists of natural materials such as pine laminated wood treated for exteriors, compacted earth walls and roof gardens. The resulting platform is fully accessible and is built with raw materials such as stabilised dirt and local stone.

Digital Totem for the Canary Islands beaches

Digital Totem

The digital totems are smart weather stations that collect and display environmental and local information for tourists and visitors of beaches and waterfronts in the Canary Islands (Spain). They are part of an ICT infrastructural network that celebrates the rooted relationship between the Canary Islands culture and their extraordinary climate.

The design is inspired by the aboriginal ceramic art pieces from the indigenous inhabitants of the islands. This art was based on the worship of the sun god “Magheq”, usually represented through circular shapes and decorative geometric patterns.

The design consists of a digitally fabricated solid wood ring standing vertically with a north-south orientation. The southern face hosts an array of photovoltaic modules that turn sunlight into electricity for phone and e-bike charging. The northern face contains a 1,2 m2 video screen that broadcasts real-time environmental data captured by the totem and useful information regarding tourist activities and services in the area. In addition to its technological and digital features, the totem also provides analogy and material values to attract attention and enrich the pedestrian
urban experience.

The resulting solution celebrates more than five hundred years of the creative relationship of the Canary Islands with the sun. From the marking of the solstices for agricultural purposes and the sun and beach tourism to the more recent challenges of producing sustainable energy with solar panels.

Strategic Tourist Plan for the Canary Islands 2018-2025

Tourism is one of the world´s largest industries. Most forecasts predict that this trend will continue, in spite of social and environmental challenges. One of the most prevalent areas of this industry is the so-called sun & beach tourism, where holiday resorts are under pressure to follow a sustainable mode of development for the communities, and the environment that supports it. Emerging concerns on CO2 emission, waste management, equal distribution of tourist wealth and the conservation of natural habitats, among many other issues, are becoming the central focus of this shift, from industrial to post-industrial tourism.

The aim of The Tourist Strategic Plan for the Canary Islands 2018-2025, puts forward a strategy for this shift, where issues such as the circular economy, smart development, social participation, sustainable urbanism and the ecological carrying capacity, are going to be critical drivers. The Plan has been developed as a partnership between three companies and several consultants. LPA Studio is in charge of the sustainability, and urban and territorial planning blocks. The plan has undergone an intense consultation process, including stakeholders of tour operating companies, experts, different organizations, state officials, and politicians. The work developed includes proposals on issues such as tourist carrying capacity, territorial planning of tourist areas, and the sustainable development of coastal infrastructures.

Naos Urban Park

Naos Park is located on an existing pier, by the waterfront, in the city of Arrecife. The site is situated in a strategic location between the boulevard that bypasses the city, and its stunning waterfront. Thanks to its enviable position at this crossroads, it has the potential of being a park for tourists to gather when they arrive, and a transport hub with multimodal forms of transport, such as public buses, taxis, tourist shuttles and bicycles. The design strategy involves extending the green tree canopy of the boulevard into Naos Park, by installing five artificial trees in the existing concrete pier.
Each tree will have a range of facilities under them, including public bathrooms, cafeterias, A bike rental service, an information office and a ticket office for buses. In addition, each tree will consist of a vertical garden and a top garden pot, as well as a vortex windmill that will provide energy for watering, off-grid lighting and Wi-Fi system. Steps for the public to gather on, with panoramic views over the surroundings, and protected from the dominant north-east winds (the so-called Alisios), will make up the full structure of each tree. The resulting public space will provide a big open shaded area, in the middle of the hot city of Arrecife. The trees are built of salted laminated timber, and they will undergo an industrialised construction process. The second part of the project consists in preparing the existing platform for public use, including the provision of a terrace with views over the marina. Future phases will include the re-designing of the existing roundabout, by enlarging it, so that it becomes an extension of the park.

Street Bio-corner

These brand-new street bio-corners will evolve from some of the existing street corners in Arrecife, standing out amid the arid landscape, and consisting of a big tree, a shaded area and seating. Street bio-corners are a contemporary version of the existing ones, adding new bio-functionalities, such as a local drainage system, clean energy, digital information, and biodiversity. Besides trees, gardens and places for people to meet up and relax, these spaces will include a sustainable drainage system for the harvesting, filtering and storage of rainwater, as in old times in Lanzarote, when water was a valued and scarce resource. Each street bio-corner works as a hydraulic infrastructure, in addition to being a public space, with a Wi-Fi connection and an off-grid energy system.
Our aim is that these corners will encourage people of different ages to come together, as well as making the city eco-friendly. The design consists of an assemblage of triangular modules and has multiple and varying usages, such as being a garden, a playground, a place to play chess with tables, an orchard, a butterfly garden, a location for barbeques, a platform for yoga, as well as having steps to sit on. There is a plan to develop about forty street bio-corners around the city, all of them in collaboration with people living in nearby neighbourhoods.

Taxi Rank Prototype for the Island of Lanzarote

The island of Lanzarote is located off the west coast of Africa. Its whole area is a biosphere reserve and its arid climate and spectacular, volcanic landscape have ensured it has a thriving tourist industry.
Our design is inspired by the sheer vastness and rustic tones of the volcanoes, along with the beauty of its subtropical flora, which manages to flourish under the harsh wind and sun. The proposed design consists of a massive garden-pot supported by timber columns, placed over a second component, comprising a ground platform with benches, wind protection and communication panels.
The modular design of the shelter allows it to be enlarged, adapt to steep streets and respond to the requirements of each municipality. It is our hope that this atmospheric setting will thereby not only make it a place for people to wait for a taxi, but also somewhere to meet up and relax.
Plants from the local flora will be used and these will vary in accordance with location and altitude, making each taxi rank unique. The steel pots will be made of corten steel, while the timber columns will be salt impregnated, allowing the dominant north-east wind, the rays of the sun and the salty environment to add the finishes touches to it over time, thereby enhancing the rustic appearance of the island.

Main Building at UD Las Palmas Training Complex

The Main Building is part of the UD Las Palmas Training Complex, developed in a former quarry at the outskirts of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). It allocates the leading team ́s working facilities including parking, gymnasium, dressing area, medical center, hydrotherapy, and press area. Outside, the building incorporates a seating area made out of on-site natural materials.

The building is placed between two platforms. As a result, two out of the three floors are underground. Longitudinally, the resulting volume works as a green corridor, connecting the unspoiled landscape area with an existing ravine, restoring some of the ecological and landscape features of the former quarry. Local gardening and stones are the materials of the west façade and seating area, integrating it with the aesthetics of dry quarry walls and green slopes.

The design of east façade and the seating area incorporates bioengineering technologies such as green retaining walls and stone gabions made out of on-site soil and stones. West façade includes a timber brise-solei that reduce the impact of the subtropics intense sunlight and protect the building from heat gain. The top floor works as a terrace area with views over the two football pitches. The result is a landscape-integrated building that goes beyond landscape aesthetics, becoming a green corridor that helps to restore some of the ecological features of a former quarry.

Tourist Carrying Capacity at the Canary Islands

The Canary Island host around 16 million of tourist per year. This phenomenon happens in a fragmented territory of eight islands, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With an average stay of 9 days, the Canary Islands manage more than one hundred fifty millions of tourist nights. In this scenario, the concept of Tourist Carrying Capacity has become an issue at the Canaries. The problem is that this concept is highly problematic in itself. It reduces the issue to a spatial and determinist factor, regardless of its ecological behaviour. As an alternative, the report proposes a definition based on a living system approach. Tourist Carrying Capacity becomes then an envelope of concepts such as urban metabolism, ecological footprint, carbon neutral and circular economy. This new approach may describe better the more or less sustainable behaviour of the tourism-territory equation.

UD Las Palmas Training Complex Masterplan

UD Las Palmas is the only football team at the Canaries playing in the premier league. Paradoxically, its training area occupies a former sand quarry and needs an urgent renovation of its facilities. The strategy of the new Brand training complex aims to transform this highly degraded space into a garden of local species. So that, the players will enjoy a pleasant natural atmosphere of trees and plants. Moreover, this strategy will also help to promote the city and its privilege weather, when opponents’ teams come to the Island. The development of this plan encompasses a full set of solutions that includes eco-retaining walls, the intensive use of sustainable timber, the recycling of water, the use of SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems), and the underground-integration of buildings into the landscape. The reduction of waste and reuse of material has also been an essential feature of the sustainable parameters of the master plan.