Isla de Tarifa
Las Palomas Island (Tarifa) is located in the southern point of Europe, just 14 km from Africa, situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, in the Parque Natural del Estrecho. Its privileged enclave is an essential issue both in the geography and the history of the island.
The synergy of the proposal happens along the perimetrical path, which is the leading thread of the project. It presents both: the inside space of the island and the exterior immensity of the sea.
The major condition of the project is the strong eastern wind called levante, present 90 % of the days a year and sometimes up to 90 km/h.
In the intersection between the pathway and the buildings, the path enlarges and melts with the inside spaces of the buildings. This marks the main programmatic points of the project: ornithology, native flora and marine life. The pathway sews the perimetrical fortification in ruins, marking its presence or sometimes disappearing remarking its absence.
This military building dates back to 1930 and it housed the shelters of soldiers, who were completing their military service in Tarifa. It was built with masonry walls covered by a timber roof structure. Nowadays it is abandoned and in disuse.
The first step of the intervention is to make and clean up the skin followed by the rehabilitation of the structure. The goal is to keep as much as possible from the original supporting structure.
The heavy existing fortifications are extended with light structures that package and protect the inside from the strong air streams.
The new program of these buildings are research labs and the divulgation of natural environments.
These seashore military fortifications are orientated to the east levante and the west poniente in the perimeter of the Isla de las Palomas. They belong to the military heritage and were built in 1859 by the military engineers. They are constructed with wide stone walls which create 12 vaults spaces called casamatas.
A new skin of parametric timber trusses are added in its land-inside concave facade. They support a pathway that leads to the deck. On the deck there is a garden; a public balcony with views over the Street of Gibraltar to Africa.
Observatory + laboratory = reinvention of the public space.
The target of the new labs is to divulgate the conscious about the fragility and richness of the landscape in the Parque Natural del Estrecho and to get more information about the climate change through the research of natural processes