On Friday the 20th May, West 8 Director Adriaan Geuze held the third masterclass and final workshop session for the advanced urbanism program at the Universidad Antonio Nebrija in Madrid, Spain. The workshop was the culmination of four month course directed and coordinated by West 8 Project Leader Juan Tur, with the guidance of Nebrija University professor Alexandra Delgado, and forms part of Nebrija University’s Masters in Architecture program.
This is the third year that West 8 has directed this workshop, which is run as a research laboratory to investigate urban design methodologies that emphasize public space and landscape as the key elements in creating a new urbanity. The aim of the laboratory is to generate innovative ideas for the City of Madrid, taking into consideration its post-crisis condition.
The theme of this year’s course was “Building Communities”. Students were asked to seek alternatives to the suburban, car centric, generic neighbourhoods that have predominated the Spanish urban fabric since the country’s economic boom. “Building Communities” investigates new design models for Madrid’s neighbourhoods that are focused on creating user friendly low rise/high density built fabric anchored by a cohesive and localized public realm, in conjunction with new mobility frameworks that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists.
This final session was attended by an extraordinary Jury Panel led by The City Councilor of Urban Design, Jose Manuel Calvo, the Director of Urban Planning for the City of Madrid, Carlos Lasheras, and Jordi Viñolas Prat, Director of the Polytechnical University of Nebrija.
At this final session, Geuze presented a lecture entitled “Desirable City”, where he expressed his passion for urban design that promotes more flexible solutions, and enables citizens and neighbours to “colonize” the city, and take ownership of its buildings and spaces.