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Passable Orographies
Aranea / Leiva

Grupo Aranea Edited by Ricardo Devesa

The seed title of AFFINIS collection is committed to the work of Grupo Aranea, a multidisciplinary team whose main motivation is to integrate various disciplines and cultural spheres by creatively and transversally challenging architectonic and professional problems associated to intervention in landscape.

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    Contents

    Grupo Aranea can be described as a multidisciplinary team that organises and carries out a variety of interventions all over the country. Founded in 1998 by architect and artist Francisco Leiva Ivorra and landscape agronomist Marta García Chico, the study has gone through various stages, relying on the involvement of a range of professionals from ecologists to sociologists. Its main motivation is to integrate various disciplines and cultural spheres by creatively and transversely challenging architectonic and professional problems associated to intervention in landscape.

    As the team itself asserts, their method consists of “starting each project with a trip and a notebook. You must learn about the specific context, take possession of it, internalise it and understand how it works while observing its marks, the hidden mechanism from which a project may spring forth. At the same time, you must not be judgemental and have an open and selective mind in order to detect the basis upon which to construct the initial outline that will contain the first lines of future projects.”

    Therefore, for Grupo Aranea, architecture is inseparable from intervention in territory and landscape. This is demonstrated by the handling of different scales and is backed by a personal creative and intuitive approach rooted in ideas that can be felt, taking on that which is subjective and contingent (with all its wealth and limitations) as opposed to that which is objective. It is thus a “place where main decisions are made, where the essence of the proposal takes shape and is guided towards the most natural response by an intuition impregnated with a sensible reading into the context, as a means for transcribing one’s will on paper.”

    Grupo Aranea defines its thirteen year trajectory as a process in which various tests have been performed in order to give rise to a singular work methodology where ideas are felt, decisions are permeable and intuition is shared.

    Edition

    The book is structured like one of Grupo Aranea’s average notebooks which, during trips and visits to the site, “begins to fill up with outlines, diagrams and data”. Thus, the four large blocks of documentation will intertwine and intermingle to narrate the origin and the ups and downs of the entire projective, reflexive and constructive process of works.

    The four packs of content will consist of the following:

    1 | Works and projects

    The materials from the different projectors to be published include drawings, plans, technical information and photos as well as the content from notebooks created for each project. Works are grouped into pairs: two houses, two facilities and two landscapes. The following will be put on exhibition: Casa Lude (constructed work) / La casa Verde (constructed work); Instituto El Rafal (constructed work) / Salamandra (contest); Observatorio Medioambiental Urbano / El Valle Trenzado of Elche (in construction).

    2 | Workshops

    Over the last few years, Grupo Aranea has been organising the workshop Inhabited Landscapes, an educational, analytical and practical project that ponders the implication of territorial morphologies, the society inhabiting them and the architectonic solutions constituting a rural site.

    3 | Texts

    Various narrative approaches will explain the content and ideas of Grupo Aranea. Included is one of its manifestos, Orografías Transitables, where the concerns and visions of its practice are written. A text by the editor will bring together all the documentation in the book. And lastly are the interviews with the members of Grupo Aranea as well as with collaborators, customers and residents of its buildings.

    4| Paintings

    Finally, the book will include some of Francisco Leiva's paintings. In addition to architect and head of Grupo Aranea, he is also a consolidated plastic artist whose pictorial work without a doubt offers subtle interpretations of his architectonic talents. It is in this manner that the four blocks of content, “liquidly” intermingled, offer a complete, bold and polyhedral reading of Grupo Aranea and Francisco Leiva’s brilliant production.

    Pictures © Grupo Aranea CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

    Protagonists

    GRUPO ARANEA is a multidisciplinary team headed by architect Francisco Leiva Ivorra and landscape agronomist Marta García Chico. Since its founding in 1998, the team's work has received various prizes and awards. Among these, the following are the most notable: First prize in the idea competition for the requalification of the Saline Joniche Brook and for the creation of a natural anthropological park in the province of Reggio Calabria, Italy, 2012; FAD Architecture Award 2010 for IES in Rafal, Alicante; first prize in the international idea competition for the regeneration of the Vinalopó riverbed in Elche, 2009; first prize in the idea competition for 111 public housing units for the Housing Board of Alicante, 2007; and first prize in the international ideas competition for the Thalassotherapy Centre of Gijón, 2006. The team was nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture- Mies Van der Rohe in 2013 and 2011. Many of Grupo Aranea’s works and projects as well as Leiva’s drawings have been published in various specialised media on an international scale, including: GA Houses, Dach-Landschaften, Bauwelt, Fundamentos and Oris. They have also participated in various exhibitions including the 11th Biennial Spanish Exhibition on Architecture and Urbanism, 2011 and On site: New Architecture in Spain at the MoMA in New York, 2006. Francisco Leiva Ivorra is an architect for the ETSA in Valencia (1998). From 2003 until 2006, he was Architectonic Projects Professor at the ETSAV and as of 2006 has been Architectonic Projects Professor at the University of Alicante. Marta García Chico is an agronomist for ETSIA in Valencia (1999) and for the Landscape Master at the UPV (2007).

    This edition, which inaugurates the AFFINIS collection is headed by RICARDO DEVESA, architect for the ETSA in Valencia (1999) and associate professor in the Department of Architectonic Composition of the ETSA in Barcelona. He got his PhD at the BarcelonaTech (Architectural Design Department, UPC, 2012). He is director and professor of the research block in the Design, Environment and Architecture (DEA) Master at the UPF ELISAVA School (2012). He was a member of the editorial team for Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme (1997-1999), and of the management team for the magazine Basa (2004-2008) for which he obtained acknowledgement in the FAD Awards on Thought and Criticism 2009. He was a professor of projects at ESARQ-UIC (2004-2005) and has collaborated in various open workshops and seminars (1997-2006). He was also a visiting scholar at the GSAPP of Colombia University in New York (2007-2009). He was co-commissioner of the exhibition Patent Construction. New Architecture Made in Catalonia, in DAM (Frankfurt am Main, 2007). Recently, he was co-editor of the book Otra mirada. Posiciones contra crónica. La acción crítica como reactivo en la arquitectura española reciente. His research has been published in specialised media. He is currently an editor at Actar Publishers.

    Details

    Title: Passable Orographies. Aranea / Leiva Notebooks
    Author: VV.AA.
    Editor: Ricardo Devesa
    Publisher: Vibok Works,  AFFINIS collection
    ISBN: 978-84-939058-8-0
    Pages: 208
    Size: 16,5x24 cm (width·height)
    Illustrations: Color
    Language: English/Spanish

    Electronic Edition + Limited Printed Edition of 100 copies


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