Agora, Maria Espinalt Institute

Community participation space at the Maria Espinalt Institute.

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Can a school be adjusted? Are our daily spaces fixed and immovable? Can young people contribute to improving their daily lives? The Maria Espinalt Institute is a public high school located temporarily in a building composed of prefabricated modules in the Poblenou neighborhood. It's playground, very wide and exposed to the public space, becomes a new educational space with the workshop and the project. The objective is to generate a space for reflection and interaction between the institute and the urban environment.

Learn, Debate, Build

The project is promoted by Professor Pedro Gozalbo, who addressed topics such as gentrification, the right to the city and participation in collective decisions during his classes. Hence the proposal of a collaborative construction of a space that can mainly cover the functions of “Agora” and the auditorium. The development is carried out among students, teachers and the team of Straddle3.

The institute is located in a neighborhood of continuous transformation, in an area known as "Superilla" of Poblenou, where you can experience first-hand the effects of gentrification and the impact of finance on the configuration of public space and the life of the neighborhood.

To generate the elements that make up the project, given the temporary nature of the installation and the limited budget, recycled materials have been used; disassembled from previous projects and assembled with on-site participatory dynamics.

Through self-construction workshops with the students, some bleachers are mounted and arranged in an elliptical way, to host moments of debate and assembly along with a geodesic dome that covers the space. During the workshops held within school hours, the students, teachers and the team of Straddle3 decided together on how to configure the space and build it in different stages.

The Agora space has been used during the 2017-18 academic year in different occasions and events as an assembly space, but also in playful and festive moments.

October 2017 September 2018
l'AFA of the Institute María Espinalt,
Director and faculty of the Institute María Espinalt and the students
Maria Espinalt Institute
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