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Administration Square Regeneration
La Merced Square History
La Merced Square Regeneration
Rocafuerte Square History
Rocafuerte Square Regeneration
Although the word “plaza” square derives from “platea”
plateau (expansion), it is always used to indicate a space surrounded
by buildings that define and limit it, this word therefore bears within
social, manner, and philosophical order considerations, and others more
related to the urban and architectural.
Squares have been during a lot of time closed spaces with an encircling
continuous and only toward the end of the XIX century, with the progressive
opening of the building backdrop, the word changes meaning, mixing itself
with expansion, open or clear.
At the beginning and during mid last century the modern movement is
substantially indifferent to the square topic, being more worried in
the expansion of the cities toward the peripheries, following similar
patterns in the entire world, hardly distinguishable and without identity,
conditioned all them to the appearance of a new constant in the urban
planning: the automobile whose vertiginous increment in the last decades
opened the way to cities based in it and for its scale, resembling more
to "parking lots" than to spaces thought for people.
The square, as projective topic, has again been brought up to date
in the last thirty years, as symbol of a new attention to the quality
of life. The diversity, inherent to any human manifestation, characterizes
the design of these spaces that, in general, become architectural signs
of the identity of the inhabitants of the town or city that delimits
them. As consequence of this the first condition today for a place can
to be defined as square, is its becoming pedestrian; accesses, trails,
and limited uses to people.
The Urban Regeneration plan carried out by the Municipality of the
city of Guayaquil, has as one of its objectives, the dignifying of the
urban environment, granting a human dimension to the city, transforming
the citizen into the main character. This intervention in the mere “heart"
of the city it seeks to revalue and revitalize pre-existent infrastructures,
recovering not only the city’s main cultural referent, but also
the self-esteem of their citizens.
In the process of regenerating Guayaquil city’s 3 more emblematic
squares of the city it was important to identify the context in which
each one of them was inserted, keeping in mind the differences that
distinguish the contemporary square from the historical one, and the
recovery and restoration interventions of those that tend to define
those “new squares". This process implied the search for
elements of local history, symbols, intellectual references and also
sculptures, fountains, architecture, trees, etc.
The concept of historical square was clearly represented in the Rocafuerte
and La Merced Squares, since being traditional squares, they had an
endogenous function, defined in the formation process and they were
subjected to a building (church, government building, palace, etc.).
The contemporary square doesn't have a function it hardly ever specifies
nor does it depend, in strict sense, of a building or a monument. Its
purpose is the one of constituting an attractive place of encounter
or meeting, thus the objective of the project is now the square in itself.
The projecting of the squares expresses a dialectic between the encircling
factor and the floor. The project affects the encircling factor only
when new squares are carried out, on the other hand, in the restoration
of the historical squares they were only acted upon at floor level,
with reference to the context, as it happens in La Merced and Rocafuerte.
Douglas Dreher Arquitectos - Arquitectura, Diseño
y Urbanismo email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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