Architect Fernando Menis directs a two-day architecture course as part of the Adeje Summer University
How to turn what might seem to be barren territory and convert it into an ideal birthplace for a city? Just one of the questions that will be discussed at the two day course ‘Moldeando La Naturaleza Para Crear Vida’ (Moulding nature to create life), led by Tenerife architect Fernando Menis, the designer of the award winning Plaza España in Adeje, as part of the Adeje Summer University.
The course, which will run on July 24th and 25th, asks the question, “how does a city originate?” and a fascinating line up of guest speakers will attempt to answer it. And what might be of real interest to professionals in Adeje and South Tenerife who might not speak Spanish fluently, is that many of the presentations will be in English.
According to Menis the two-day course will be looking at the symbiosis between natural energy and manipulation of shape and material in the birth of city spaces, the creation of micro-climates where new life is possible. Developing an environment which develops and sustains the life of a new city and its future growth, using and strengthening the forces of nature to convert an uninhabitable space into an oasis, a habitat where people can settle and populations can grow.
If it all sounds like a script from a science fiction movie, think again. These kinds of developments have been taking place all over the world, and here too in Adeje we have seen the parallel development of living spaces alongside protected areas on land and in the sea. At a press conference to launch the course Adeje mayor Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said, “we are following a school of architecture that is both modern and sustainable which takes into account the preservation of our environment as a priority. Adeje, “ he continued, “is a modern tourist borough 45% of which is protected territory. Here in Adeje we also have a marine classroom for the development and protection of our aquatic resources”.
Among the guest speakers will be Thomas Tsang, an assistant professor of architecture in the University of Hong Kong, who also spent many years studying in the USA. He has also worked in urban design in Hangzhou, in China. Juan Roldán, assistant professor in the Sharjah American University in the Arab Emirates, will discuss ‘Dubai and Sharjah, citymaking and landmarking’, which will examine the development of the neighbouring cities, one a financial and tourist destination the other an educative and cultural model. The conference will also examine how a future city without petrol could evolve.
Tarik Oualalou is the founder and CEO of Kilo Architects and will lead a discussion on the possibilities of design for a desert. Tenerife architect Dulce Xerach will look at Singapore as a possible role model for the Canary Island. Singapore is about the size of La Gomera, but with 5 million inhabitants, green zones, well developed and cared for countryside, and only 1.5 % unemployment, and an economy that is considered the second most competitive in the world.
Andreas Ruby has been a critical voice in the architectural world for a number of years, and, along with Ilka Ruby, created ‘textbild’ a centre for the production and promotion of books and works on architecture, based in Berlin. He will lead the discussion on reinventing construction, examining how modern pressures and social inequalities are just some of the factors creating a need for reinvention in the field of construction.
Wang Wei Jen will look at ‘Urban Courtyardism’, the quality and construction of urban patios and terraces, and ask is there a need to reassess the use and quality in the design of these spaces. He will show examples of three dimensional patio designs for ground and upper floor levels and show how new forms of thinking have seen the evolution of patios in China using natural light and ventilation and examine urban ‘courtyardism’ in our cities as a way of meeting the challenges of population density and sustainability.
This promises to be a fascinating two-day workshop, and will run from 9am-2pm and 4pm – 8pm on July 24th and 9am – 1pm on July 25th. Course director Fernando Menis is an associate professor at the European University, Canaries, and the president of the Laboratory of Innovation in Architecture, Design and Advanced Tourism in Tenerife. As well as the Plaza España in Adeje he designed the Magma Arte y Congresos centre in Las Américas, and is currently working on the Auditorium Jordánek in Poland, a Congress Centre in Fuerteventura and projects in Taiwan, Taipei, and in Ukraine.
For more information on this or other Summer University courses contact the Adeje council cultural department.