68_Ramón Borja Castillo, Marina Lopez, Francisco Muñoz: Arqupuntura

TEAM – Marina López Porras (Architect) Ramón Borja Castillo Abad (Architect) Francisco Muñoz Carabias (Architect, Partner in Traza Architects, Madrid)

Marina López Porras

  • Bachelor in Architecture 2008/2016 Alfonso X El Sabio Madrid.

  • Master BIM Revit 2016 24Studio Lab

  • Currently job: Assistant Architect in Iberiart / International Architecture firm based in Madrid, Spain.

  • Workshops:

    • Architecture’s Archeology CIAT, Segovia, Spain. 2013

    • Sustainable architecture CIAT, Segovia, Spain 2013

    • Workshop for the preservation and valorization of the ruins of the Giurgiu citadel, Romania.2014

    • Earth building and traditional Architecture in Morocco, Terrachidia Association. 2015&2016

Ramón Borja Castillo

  • Bachelor in Architecture 2008/2015 Alfonso X El Sabio Madrid.

  • Master BIM Revit 2016 24Studio Lab

  • Currently job: Architect in Alcázar Architects / Architecture firm based in Oviedo, Spain.

  • Workshops:

    • Project Ávila, COACYLE AV Official Architects College, and publication.

    • Architecture’s Archeology CIAT, Segovia, Spain. 2013

  • Experiences: 3 Hypotetic projects in Istambul during 2015

Francisco Muñoz Carabias

  • Founder and partner in Traza Architects, Madrid

  • Architecture Professor in Alfonso X El Sabio, Madrid.

Marina & Borja are friends and classmates since they met in the University in 2008. They had collaborated in a lot of projects during their careers and when City of Madrid published the public contest to renovate Spain Square in Madrid they allied to make a real proposal to win. They called to Francisco Muñoz partner and owner of Traza Architect, former university professor to sponsor the project. Francisco give them the concept and Marina & Borja made it real.

Arqupuntura – Renovate Spain Square in Madrid

ARQUPUNTURA – Renovación de la Plaza de España                          -Renovation of Spain Square

The project to renew Plaza de España in Madrid is included in the international contest promoted by Madrid Council in 2016 to make real one of the most expected urban works in the last years.

The design made by the Spanish architects Marina López Porras, Ramón Borja Castillo Abad and Francisco Muñoz Carabias from Traza Arquitectura Studio tries to solve  the different problems the square suffers currently, applying the concept Arqupuntura, term which names the project as well. The idea, created joining the words acupuncture and architecture, refers to the necessity of some accurate changes in the most problematic areas. With Arqbol we create free space, urban inhabited areas and new situations, providing a new lighting system for the square, as well as areas cooled by sprayed water and new shade sites.

“I always had  the dream and the hope of curing diseases with just a simple shot. The idea of recovering the energy of an ill or tired point only with a puncture implies the revitalization of that point and its surrounding area.

I think we can and must apply some kind of medicine “magic” to cities, because many are like ill, some of them even terminally. In the same way medicine needs the interaction between the doctor and the patient, in urbanism it is also necessary to make cities react; to touch an area in such a way that it can get better or healed, creating positive chain reactions. It is necessary to perform works to revitalize, to make the organism work in a different way”             

Thus is how Jaime Lerner considers the renovation of cities in his book “Urban Acupuncture”, as a consolidated entity in evolution and needing to be activated in determinate key points. Acupuncture (from latin “acus”, needle and “pungere”, puncture) is a technique of the traditional Chinese medicine which consists in pricking and manipulating needles in the body to recover the patient’s health and welfare. If we change the term “needles” for sustainable architectural projects and “body” for city, we get the proposal called urban acupuncture proposed by Marco Casagrande stablishing a comparison of cities with living beings. And as a living being, the Plaza de España in Madrid is ill. Reading the reports about its condition, its inhabitants’ opinion and personal experiences confirm this diagnostics. The degradation and neglect of this urban site are the symptoms whose causes must be found in the policies applied to take the best advantages of public spaces and their use. Therefore we have given one more screw to the term “acupuncture” for “ARQupuntura” referring to the Greek stem “arch”, guide, and to the characteristic of this profession, and to propose, in a paradoxical sense, that architecture is the solution and not the problem. An intervening and punctual arqupuntura, sustainable, ecological for that ECO which is implied in the ECOnomic and in the very ECOsystem as ambit of relations.