Santiago Cirugeda is a spanish architect, founder of the office Recetas Urbanas
which regulary creates project playing with legality. In fact, he succeed to interpret the law and to go around it in order to create benefit for public/social place.
PUZZLE-HOUSEThe Closet Stratagem
– Recycling unused empty lots.
– Available legal options.
– Versatile occupation structure.
– Temporary locations per year.
– Mockery of the cardboard patrimony.
– Impermanent urban infiltration.
– Systematic shaking of the legislation.
The subsequent occupations of empty lots with the closet strategy came into being, in a personal manner, from my living experience in the Puzzle-House, situated for one month in the Plaza de la Mina of Cadiz. A attitude to situated at the very limits of the legal, an intellectual embezzlement, which emancipates itself from what urban planning proposes as the patrimony of the stone cardboard or from what the old city is beginning to look like, that is, an inhabitable amusement park.
Using the Puzzle-House as the prototype, in its various possible configurations, the idea is to start occupying different empty lots of the old city for a maximum of two years per lot, thus achieving a nomadic, disperse, and impermanent way of living an urban plot that tends towards temporal mummification.
Nothing prevents us from privately contracting the use of an area from the owner of an empty lot who still owns and holds every right over the empty lot. This contract will not be subject to the special regime of country or urban payments, but it will be automatically terminated through an order of the City Hall that calls for the demolition or move in order to carry out urbanization projects (art. 136.2 RDL 1/1992, of June 20). This is not the case for the lots chosen.
The 3rd Section of the 4th Chapter of the 3rd Title of the PGOU of Seville oversees the task of Specific Conservation and Temporal Occupation of Empty Lots. Placing a pre-fabricated structure in the lot could be legitimated through art. 3.10.1.c “spreading with provisional and dismountable structures,” through which we would request the license to stay in the empty lot. We will have to respect the conditions described in sections 2 and 3 of art. 3.39-this poses no problems at all for us or for the goals we have in mind. It must be stressed that the said authorization will have to be accepted by the owner and be indicated in the ownership title.
But what would happen if we set up such a structure with no authorization at all from the city authorities? Are we really within the above mention art. 3.10.1.c? Articles 334 to 337 of the Civil Code tell us what we must consider movable and unmovable goods. Our structure is an object that can be easily “transported from one place to another with no effects on the immovable thing to which it is connected” (art. 335 of the Civil Code); our structure does not fall under the jurisdiction of the previous article of the same legal text because it is not connected to the lot “in a fixed manner, thus preventing it from being removed from the lot without breaking or damaging the good” (art. 334.3 of the Civil Code); and, finally, the structure is not joined to the place in a permanent manner with the end of becoming part of it. As a result of the above, we conclude that we are clearly speaking about a movable good.
Consequently, the sequential placing in the different empty lots selected does not fall under any normative restriction obliging us to solicit permission, especially since spreading is not our goal. The action could be compared to the storing of any other movable object which respects the preservation conditions of the empty lot, which are regulated by the 3rd Section of the 4th Chapter of the 3rd Title of the PGOU. Similarly, neither the rules about health nor about security pose an obstacle, as one can easily verify by consulting the technical information manuals of the materials we plan to use.
BUILDING YOURSELF AN URBAN RESERVE
How and whyScaffoldingHow?
1. Apply in your local Urban Planning office (or similar) to the license of a minor alteration to paint the facade of the building to which you want to fix yourself, in which you want to inlay, against which you want to lean, or simply which you want to enlarge.
1.A. The degree of heritage protection of the building may force you to sign you will stick to the existing color, but that should not bother you.
1.B. If the facade does not need a coat of paint you can make a few color loud paintings on it to justify the re-painting of it.
2. Ask a friend or relation, who should be an architect (there are plenty), to sign the scaffolding project, together with the preliminary health and safety plan. This is very simple project and can be easily copied. When it comes to talk about wages, a few beers will do.
3. With the paid minor alteration license (some 3000 pts) and the local authorities permit for the project (some 4000 pts.), we can actually apply to the license for placing the scaffold, because, although it is true you must define how long will the works take, you can obtain it without a tick in the appropriate box and so make it last indefinitely (experience backs me up). Anyway, i am personally interested in few-months-stays, so i can install myself in different places one after the other and keep the temporary character of it. (such attribute frightens the architect’s guild).
4. Design your own urban reserve using your favorite materials and styles.
5. Once you have the license (approx. One month after) install the scaffolding together with the reserve.
Why?Reasons for building one-self an urban reserve can be as many as citizens are, that dare doing it. What we can certainly say, is that this personal and intimate action takes place outside everything politicians and professionals may plan, it follows ways that are labeled by difference, by independence, and it makes obvious that the citizen plays a very important role in the development and construction of the environment he lives in.The para-architecture proposed in the action breeds itself with temporary intentions. With non-heritable forms, finally, it is silently pretended to evoke the incapacity of an institution to set bounds to the complex human reality (once more).
TAKING THE STREET
How and WhySkipsHow:
1. Apply to the Urban Planning Department of your town for a permit to install a skip on the chosen site. Your application should include a detailed sketch (pavements, road, position, etc.), along with the 5.688 ptas it costs. The guarantee of the concession of the license comes given by the simultaneous justification from a supposed inner reform, which involves filling out a minor works application form (no technical design is required), with its corresponding cost (approximately 3.000 ptas).
2. Once the permit for installation has been granted (a month later), proceed immediately to install the skip. You should preferably build it yourself, as in this way you wiIl avoid any possible misunderstandings with the firm contracted.
3. There is also the option of applying, free of charge, for the KUVA SC. 670-794409 skip, which will be loaned by friendly agreement to the people or groups of people wishing to create reserves of urban land.
4. The functions and uses which can be created by these urban reserves are open to fhe imagination of those inhabiting them; they can be filled with the elements suggested or required by given functional and intellectual intentions: children’s playground, information point, reading room, exhibition space, flamenco venue, giant flowerpot, etc.
Why?Reasons for building one-self an urban reserve can be as many as citizens are, that dare doing it. What we can certainly say, is that this personal and intimate action takes place outside everything politicians and professionals may plan, it follows ways that are labelled by difference, by independence, and it makes obvious that the citizen plays a very important role in the development and construction of the environment he lives in.The para-architecture proposed in the action breeds itself with temporary intentions. With non-heritable forms, finally, it is silently pretended to evoke the incapacity of an institution to set bounds to the complex human reality (once more).
The Tick’s Stratagem
Occupation of a tree with provisional shelter.
Resistance to urban politics.
Light construction systems.
Reversible colonization strategy.
Dynamics of social adhesion.
Lucid, but destabilizing, action.
Instantaneous temporal sequence.
The project Insect-House came about when the platform Alameda Viva, a platform with which I share certain personal and intellectual affinities, invited me to show my support for their act of resistance by occupying some of the trees of La Alameda, in Seville.
By following the fundamental premises of efficacious urban guerrilla, I designed the shelters with parts that allow for an immediate construction. The outside shell would protect us from possible aggressors using rubber balls and pressured water. The nocturnal building of the shelter requires about 4 people and takes two hours at most. The first time we built it, eight people came to help, given the lucid and participative spirit the occasion generated: Salita, Pepe, Raúl, Manu, Jaime, José, Herman, and Santi.
The bottom part of the shelter is usually 4.5 meters off the ground and serves as a stomach/storage space; the top part has a sliding shell for protection. These, together with the parts that fix and hold the shelter to the three, form a structure that has a particular insect-ventilation flowing through it continuously: this feature allows for a pleasant inhabitation in the Summer months, which is when our temporary occupations tend to take place.
It is not necessary to justify what should be obvious concerning the inability of urban planning to define the development and growth of a city that finds itself incapable of action given the changes in political attitudes, which means an absolute submission to the demands of the market and ground speculation. The implicit goal of the action, and my personal ambition along with those of colleagues with a similar attitude, was to remind people and groups that, even if their voice has been considerably quieted, they are still able to act and decide, that they have a say, in the development of the city and on how this development will be carried out.
Beyond a mere ecological attitude concerning the protection of threes to be cut down, this is a strategy of opposition to plans directed, and often imposed, on the population and its style of urban life, which affect not only the inhabitants of the neighborhood, but also the vast and diverse groups of visitors who frequent the La Alameda neighborhood.