Archipelago Lab: An Atlas of Metropolitan Islands for Madrid
The Archipelago offers a draft project, an action plan, for the European metropolis.
This is due to the differentiation of fragments of intensity, located islands, usually conceived as cohesion amid public sphere and the surrounding metropolitan mass.
The archipelago triumphs because it addresses the potential of architecture to create urban pockets of meaning and significance. The islands are prototypes of the city within the city.
Could this multiplicity help to negotiate the apparent inevitable juxtapositions of the European metropolis?
May architecture then become the city, while the city becomes a highly congested vacuum?
Scenes are identified. Spheres that behave as a relational framework for every metropolitan agent. Those scenes are landscapes doable to be modified or blurred by the different agents interaction. Each piece, each scene, each island, behaves as a laboratory. A “laboratorization” of the city as an archipelago is established.
Seven concrete cases are presented, from the compendium of islands that configure the project for the city. Seven documents. One for each island: plan, section, elevation, image, structure, detail and axonometry. Seven situations itemized, which will not just explain metropolitan islands separately, but would trace a unitary project that constitutes the narrative of the city of Madrid as an archipelago.
Instead of analyzing the post-post condition of the contemporary city as a state of crisis, under the necessity of correction, we ought to treat radically immanent conditions of the city as a projective model for the metropolis itself.
The desire for stability and the need for instability are no longer incompatible…this city is presented as an archipelago of architectural islands floating in a post-architectural landscape of erased mass, where whatsoever once was urban becomes a highly congested vacuum.