(Madrid, 1977), ha studiato architettura in Spagna a Valladolid e alla Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura di Barcellona, in Germania presso la TUHH di Amburgo. Nel 2008 ha fondato ad Amsterdam Laura Álvarez Architecture, dopo avere lavorato con i noti studi internazionali Mecanoo, SeARCH, Benthem Crouwel e Ferrater. Durante questo periodo di intense collaborazioni ha partecipato, in qualità di architetto progettista, a interventi pubblici di grande scala, come il nuovo Palazzo di giustizia di Cordoba. Il suo lavoro è stato premiato con numerosi riconoscimenti tra i quali: il primo premio al concorso internazionale per la nuova Facoltà di Architettura di Delft “Building for Bouwkunde”, il primo premio al concorso sull’housing organizzato da Heijmans Vastgoed en Woningbouw “Customize me!”, il secondo premio per un Centro culturale in Spagna. Recentemente ha vinto lo “European 40 under 40 Award” promosso dall’Istituto Europeo di Architettura.

Laura Alvarez
(Madrid, 1977), founding partner of laura alvarez architecture studied at Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura of Barcelona as well as in Valladolid, Spain. Between her studies in those cities, she also studied architecture at the TUHH Hamburg, Germany.
In 2008 she founded laura alvarez architecture after her extensive experience working for well known international practices including Mecanoo, SeARCH, Bethem Crouwel and Ferrater.
While working for these practices, she was integrally involved as project architect for large-scale public projects including the new Palace of Justice for Córdoba (Spain).
Her work has been awarded with several prizes such us the First Prize “Building for Bouwkunde”, International Competition for the New Faculty of Architecture of Delft, First Prize “Customize me!”, housing competition organized by Heijmans Vastgoed en Woningbouw, Second prize for a Cultural Centre in Spain and recently Winner of the European 40 under 40 Award given by the European Institute of Architecture.

Video di Gregorio Carletti e Nicolò Temporin

Venezia, Isola di San Biagio (Giudecca)

Tutor: Andrea Guazzeri, Marta Roy
Collaboratori: Nicola Placella, Tijn van de Wijdeven

In un pianeta di più di sei miliardi di abitanti, circa duecentoquaranta milioni di persone si spostano a causa di conflitti armati, persecuzioni di natura politica o religiosa, razzismo, povertà o – più semplicemente – in cerca di una vita migliore. La detenzione preventiva è la tipica risposta adottata dai governi nei confronti di chi chiede asilo politico e dei migranti irregolari. L’Italia, un paese caratterizzato da una lunga storia di emigrazione, è diventata uno stato di confine dell’Unione Europea, ricevendo decine di migliaia di migranti ogni anno.
Lampedusa è divenuta, di recente, tristemente nota come punto di passaggio forzato per chi dal Terzo Mondo voglia entrare in Europa. Gli eventi accaduti nell’isola hanno provato come i paesi ospitanti spesso non siano preparati per affrontare e risolvere il problema. Quindi, come reagiremmo se Lampedusa muovesse verso Venezia, città fondata – secondo la leggenda – da popolazioni in fuga dalle invasioni barbariche di Germani e Unni? Il nostro intento è di trovare nuove
tipologie architettoniche per una fetta “invisibile” ma crescente della società contemporanea. L’area di intervento è l’isola (artificiale) di San Biagio, a ovest di Sacca Fisola, alla quale è unita solo da un ponte. Tra il 1973 e il 1985 la presenza di un inceneritore, ora demolito, le aveva affibbiato il soprannome di “isola della spazzatura”.
L’origine, la sua funzione, il sarcastico soprannome hanno reso questo sito alieno alle dinamiche veneziane. Formalmente parte della città ma separato da essa, sembra possedere quel tanto di ambiguità e straniamento che spesso sono le vere caratteristiche della condizione del migrante.
Non il tipico contesto veneziano, quindi, bensì un luogo in cui l’architettura è chiamata a confrontarsi con un tema aspro ma ricco di potenzialità.

Of the planet’s more than 6 billion people, some 240 million are on the move, as a result of armed conflict, religious or political persecution, racism, poverty, ecological destruction or just seeking a better life.
Migration-related detention is the practice of detaining—typically on administrative (as opposed to criminal) grounds—asylum seekers and irregular immigrants until they can be deported, their identities established, or their claims adjudicated. Because many national legal systems do not have clear rules for administrative detention, migration detainees often face legal uncertainties, including lack of access to the outside world, limited possibilities of challenging detention through the courts, and/or absence of limitations on the duration of detention.
Italy, a significant emigrant nation during much of its history, has in recent decades become a key border state within the European Union, receiving tens of thousands of African immigrants and asylum seekers yearly. Under pressure from EU neighbours and its own public, the country has fortified its maritime border control efforts over the past several years. It has also increased the number of secure detention centres and engaged a broad array of actors to assist in the treatment of detainees, including the Italian Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR). In 2008, the government of Silvio Berlusconi declared a state of emergency in Italy, citing the high volume of irregular migrants trying to reach the country. Since then, the government has stepped up the controversial practice of “push backs” and introduced laws which, inter alia, criminalize unauthorized presence in the country.
Lampedusa, an island off the south coast of Sicily that serves as a key migrant interdiction spot in the Mediterranean, has become infamously famous in the past years as a prime transit point for immigrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia wanting to enter Europe. The events occurred in the island proved how host countries are not well prepared to face the increasing and urgent problem of immigration. The ¨remoteness¨of the tiny island from continental europe has numbed our consciences, but the problematic is still on the doorstep of Europe.

So how we would react if Lampedusa moves to Venice?
It is not hard to establish a parallelism between the two islands. While there are no historical records, it is believed that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees from Roman cities near Venice such as Padua, Aquileia, Treviso and Altino and from the undefended countryside, who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions. Venice was a city not fully eastern or western entirely, but a melting point of original dynamic of the two traditions.

Our aim is to discover a new architecture typology for an invisible group in our society.
Exisiting detention centers are places which are intented to host the “uprooted”. In fact they do not provide even the most essential neccesities.
The architecture task in this case must go beyond a mere funtional and formal aproach; the physicallity of walls and ceilings becomes the only belonging for its inhabitants.
Our area of intervention is Sacca San Biagio, an artificial island from the early decades of the XX century, located on the western part of Sacca Fisola. Between 1973 and 1985 a garbage incinerator – now demolished – was present on the site, making San Biagio to earn the nickname of Rubbish Island (Isola de le Scoasse). Only one bridge connects the two and Sacca San Biagio nowadays occurs to be an empty, neglected spot of land, one of the few of the entire lagoon.
The artificial origin, the peculiar function, the sneering nickname made of this island a far, uninteresting place, alien to the dynamics of Venice. Formally part of the city and yet detached, distant from the interests of the community Sacca San Biagio seems to possess that kind of ambiguity and estrangement that so often become the very characteristics of the condition of migrants.
Not the typical venetian context, then. Rather, a place where the architecture is called to confront itself with a harsh topic, and yet a one full of potentials, a breathing space for one of the most pressing thematics of these days.

During the workshop we will do several short and intense exercises to takle the main topics.
We will use models as a design tool.
The workshop will be held in English and Italian.

We are studying the possibility of exhibiting the workshop results at the Faculty of Architecture in Delft (The Netherlands).


First Week
1.Monday 2.07.2012
Wokshop presentation, introduction of teachers and theme. Kick-off exercise.
2.Tuesday 3.07.2012
Working on first assignment and presentation .
3. Wednesday 4.07.2012
Site visit and base model. Presentation of second assignment: Urban scale
4.Thursday 5.07.2012
Working on second assignment
5. Wednesday 6.07.2012
Working on second assignment and presentation .

Second week
6.Monday 9.07.2012
Working on final assignment: The refuge (Architectural object)
7.Tuesday 10.07.2012
Working on final assignment
8. Wednesday 11.07.2012
Working on final assignment
9.Thursday 12.07.2012
Working on final assignment
10. Wednesday 13.07.2012
Working on final assignment

Third week
6.Monday 16.07.2012
Pre-final presentation
7.Tuesday 17.07.2012
Production week
8. Wednesday 18.07.2012

Production week
9.Thursday 19.07.2012
Production week
10. Wednesday 20.07.2012

10 risposte a "ALVAREZ"

  1. dear mrs Alvarez,
    i read your project and i found it very very interesting. Unfortunately i wasn’t assigned to your Workshop but I’d love to partecipate. Is it possible?
    sincerly yours

    • Dear Giovanni,
      Glad to hear you liked our project. We are really looking forward to start!
      About the participation, as it is written in the home page, you need a written paper from your assigned teacher and if we have less than 70 students, we might have you among us. We still don’t have the list, so unfortunately I cannot tell you. I hope it is clear.
      Kind regards,

  2. Buongiorno,
    vorrei sapere se è possibile partecipare a questo workshop anche se via spin si è stati assegnati ad un altro corso

    I would like to know if i can attend this workshop even if I was assigned to another one.

    • Dear Gabriele,
      As I told Giovanni, it will depend on the amount of students we have been assigned. We still don’t have the list.
      We need a written paper from your assigned teacher and then we will check if we have less than 70 students. Good luck!
      Kind regards,

  3. Vendo posto Alvarez, asta a partire da 40 euri. Scambio con chiunque.
    Far pervenire le offerte entro Martedì 19, ore 13.

  4. Dear Ms. Alvarez,
    I was assigned to your workshop (as previously chosen). Thesedays i’ve been working abroad, and yesterday we got to kow the job had been extended for two more days. I was able to rashly re-plan my ticket back for wednesday, but unfortunately i will be losing the first two days.However, I have friends inside that can try to keep me up to speed.
    I really hope this does not create too many issues, and i’m willing to work my ass off to catch up.
    Thank you for now,

    Francesco Degl’Innocenti


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