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.

Parking area at shopping quarter

The car park occupies the backyard of a traditional house in ruins located in the Commercial Area in the centre of Valleseco, one of the most humid municipalities of Gran Canaria. The plot corresponds to the back garden of a traditional house in ruins, where some fruit trees have been preserved. The aim of the project is to create a parking area for cars and bicycles. The functional programme also includes accessible public toilets and a control area that makes use of the available space in the renovated house.

The intervention strategy consists of a flexible-use platform that functions as a parking area during the week and as a street market on weekends. The design consists of incorporating a zigzag perimeter garden ring that resolves the encounter with the party walls and forms the parking spaces. The zigzag shape is ideal both for parking cars and for housing the market kiosks.
The road and pedestrian routes share the same platform, which is made of cobblestones with an open joint for cars and a closed joint for pedestrians.

The “green pores” of the paving are part of a sustainable drainage system that captures, filters and stores rainwater, which is used to irrigate the gardens. The perimeter wall made of wooden sleepers includes bollards, bike racks and electrical connection points. The project components are completed with an autoclave-treated pinewood pergola with a geometry that is both continuous and broken, combining areas equipped with solar panels with areas colonised by climbing plants. The project is committed to the dominant use of materials with a low carbon footprint such as wood and stone.

 

Calvia Coastal & Tourist Development

The municipality of Calvia is situated on the southwest end of the island of Mallorca.

It has nearly 60 kilometres of coastline and it concentrates more than 50,000 tourist beds and as many second homes which totals for more than 50% of the tourist accommodation on the Island. The proposal is based on the geographic system of “cavities” and “convexities” that characterizes Calvia’s coast. The design strategy aims to recover and update the development pattern of the irst tourist settlements where the “cavities” of the coast hosted tourist enclaves while the “convexities” were maintained as landscape reservoirs. This pattern is the basis of the vivid image that characterizes the Majorcan coast, and an example of intelligent and sustainable development of the waterfront. The project also includes a model of sustainable mobility and eight tourist enclaves, each with its own unique identity and tourist proile.

Digital Totem®

The design upgrades the traditional advertising poles proliferating in malls and gas stations that are mainly used for advertising and business visibility.

The design strategy seeks to enhance its functionality by improving its visual access. The design system consists of rotating eight blocks of a prism in accordance with the movement of vehicles around the roundabouts where they are placed.

Each module includes a video screen similar to those in football stadiums and the video panels give information regarding access to car parks, availability of parking spaces and commercial ads.

Cenobio Pedestrian Access

The Cenobio of Valeron is a pre-Hispanic granary excavated more than five hundred years ago by the ancient inhabitants of the island of Gran Canaria.

Its difficult accessibility helped to preserve this large pantry from potential raids of plunder and looting. The project aims to connect the 300 meter gap between the car park and the archaeological site along a very sharp slope. The program of uses consists of an accessible pedestrian route, complemented by a control area and an interpretation center at both extremes. The project is resolved by three sections of control coming out from the evaluation of minimum land excavation and three diferent landscape experiences (cultural, panoramic and archaeological). The interchange area is the result of bridging the gap between the three control sections with 3D software.

The different spatial scenarios that the visitor enjoys along the way transform the visits of tourists into a memorable and educational experience.

Arrecife Waterfront & Marina

Arrecife is the capital of Lanzarote (Canary Islands). It has a unique geographical location formed by a group of rocky reefs, puddles and islets that constitute and make its coastal front singular. The most interesting part of its history is the efort to communicate the islets and urbanize the “puddles”. The bridge “Puente de Las Bolas”, built in the late sixteenth century, and the pool of San Gines are some of the best examples to do this.

Our intervention strategy consolidates this pattern of growth along the waterfront and the port. The project consists of the extension of two pedestrian pathways along the coastal front, creating new pools and communicating the existing islets.

The resulting loop generates urban spaces where new uses are placed. The crossings of the loop generate nodes that host kiosks, meeting places and water-taxi stations.

Cicer Plaza

The code “Urban Beach” with which this project is launched, not only codiies but also explains the project’s strategy. The proposed public plaza combines the lexibility of beach spaces along with the comfort levels of urban plazas.

The design consists of an undulating topography that connects the beach with the surrounding streets, located at an upper level. The resulting space integrates pedestrian, urban and beach spaces in a coherent manner. Two indoor boulevards run underground and provide access to other amenities such as a wellness center, beach facilities and a sailing school. The claim “Under the pavers, the beach” perfectly expresses the aspirations of freedom and fun of an entire generation. Our proposal aims to rescue the informality of that beach without sacriicing the comfort of the pavers.