Architecture can help to reinforce links that relate the different natures that coexist in the space and time that it occupies. In this way the project “Picnic” solves the request of a wine company of having a place to gather, and celebrate specialized tastings as an opportunity to potentiate the rich ecosystem of the vineyards that are close to the Ebro River.
In a moment when environmental conflicts and new cultural sensibilities exceed the anthropocentrism, we develop a design strategy that makes possible that the mutual caring among species becomes the role, both economic, social and aesthetic that guides and articulates the proposal. In this sense "Picnic" is a device that gathers the current discussions around food. And especially around the rights of the animals through the vegetarian and vegan practises. Our proposal turns the commission into a space for the occasional celebration of vegan picnics, that incorporate not only humans to the celebration, but also the different species of birds present in the area, thanks to the complex ecosystem generated by the Ebro River as it travels through the vineyards.
The pavilion is composed by two different spaces or structures that act in a complementary way generating the notion of place or public space that the clients requested. One of them would be interior and would host the space destined to the human use, a space of 25sqm with a circular base and accessible from the vineyards floor, where to gather, do a tasting of wine, or a picnic. And the other one would be an exterior crown located at a height of 6m and equipped with a system of nests, drinkers, and feeders for the local birds of the area that help protecting the local ecosystem at the same time that it balances the impact of our intervention with a new focus of increasing of biodiversity thanks to the water and food that will regularly be renewed.
The goal would be to gather in a same space, at the same time, and with the same program, different agents that, speaking in food terms, we would usually think of them as enemies in our society in order to find other ways of interaction.
The whole structure is dressed in a flower enveloping made out of the most characteristic species of the area that are previously dried, reusing the polyurethane foam normally used in the building industry as a thermal insulation as a gluing closing element and giving the whole pavilion a both bizarre and integrated image. Working “with” nature and not only “in” nature helps to care about its fragility. The flowers, together with the foam are fixed to a string braiding system that wraps the proposal generating both a holed enclosure to resist the strong winds in the area, and the structural stability to the complex.
The structure is thought to be removable from the assembly of wooden pieces fixed through prestressed reusable systems that allow its future assembly somewhere else. At the same time its weight is optimized so there is no need for foundations that would compromise the terrain in a long term, while the structure is raised 20cm in order not to interfere with the paths of other animals and insects.