PAISAJE SUR. Intervention in San Juan´s orchardPublic Space
Since 2013, the Office for Urban Landscaping of the Arts Section of Madrid City Council fights to carry out improvement projects of the urban landscape in different neighborhoods of the city. The objective of all these projects is to generate colaborative processes among neighborhood associations, local agents and artistic collectives for the analysis of environments in a neighborhood-scale and the activation of spaces through collaborative interventions.
After working several months centered in establishing alliances between the diverse agents involved in the process and analysis of the neighborhoods of Usera and Villaverde, Paisaje Sur´s working team defined four intervention context to be developed by four different collectives in collaboration with the neighborhood associations of Zofío en Usera y La Incolora in Villaverde, together with several local agents closely related to each one of the processes.
One of those four contexts was the one in Huerto de San Juan de Ávila (San Juan de Ávila´s Orchard), an space next to the parish of the same name in which since long ago there was a proyect of an orchard space managed by a group of neighborhoods. It was considered a plus the pre-existence of a communal process in the place and the ability of the orchard proyect to open up to the neighborhood and to collaborate with several initiatives of the area.
Defined the context and the work group of this proyect (comunity of Huerto de San Juan de Ávila, San Juan de Ávila´s parish, Zofío neighborhood asociation, Asociación Creatica Association, Intermediae and Basurama), we moved on to a phase of specific development of the intervention through several encounters were we tried to give responses to the different problems of the proyect: cuestions related with the use, the scale, the durability and the participation with the group of the orchard, the parish and Zofío; adaptation to the normative, permits, deadlines and budgets with Intermediae and the Office of Urban Landscaping; disponibility of materials with Intermediae and the Environmental Office.
The Environmental Office donated to the project the wood from the local benches (Romantic bench and Madrid Bench models), so the estrategy to establish a process of co-design was based in a preliminary study of the construction possibilites of wood.
By consedering more important all the negotiation surrounding the desing of the intervention rather than the final design itself, the whole formal project that was presented to the agents and neighbours that participated in Paisaje Romántico was a prototipe of union of woods of Romantic Bench, designed to be easy to build with few means and low cost.
Based on a model of a constructive details (and a possible angular family) and during the following meetings that took place in Dicember of 2014 the project started taking shape, improving its design as it was starting to be able to answer to more needs and problems. The intervention proyect went from being a constructed object to an object of mediation between the agents.
Once the process of design was closed and the materials ready, the construction started by the end of 2015. A team composed of Basurama´s members, collaboratos and volunteers worked with a fixed schedule in the intervention space, like an open workshop to anyone that wants to participate. Together with members of Zofío, Creática and the neighborhoods the orchard of the project kept on growing until finalizing its construction by the end of March, 2015.
For Saturdays, the official days, special working sessions were programmed, not so much for keeping on building but more for celebrating the process.
Currently the Orchard of San Juan de Ávila in Usera is an spce for the meeting and the realization of activities, open and free to the whole neighborhood. You only need to go Zofío´s association or to write to the email of the Orchard´s group to participate in it or to propose an activity.