Fair of Craftsmen, Sheds for Fishermen, Services and Design of Public Space
Arq. Conrado Pintos
Punta del Diablo, Uruguay
Conrado Pintos Arturo Silva Montero Alberto Valenti Arturo De Los Santos
Federico Mirabal (Collaborator)
Ministerio de Turismo y Deporte
The project proposed to use the programatic components (craft's selling stands and fishermen sheds) in order to shape a recognizable coastal edge and articulate, at the same time, an organized and hierarchized public space. Bigger strucutres (but respectful towards the local scale) where added, establishing a dialogue with a urban landscape extremely fragmented. The craftsmen fair became the endpoint of the town's shopping street, and generated a small square that articulate with the beach. The materiality proposed aim to an image of fragility that agrees with the natural dominance of the landscape. The willingness to generate public space manifest itself in the continuity of the spaces proposed (street, coastal walk, square), and above all in the construction of spaces to protect from sun and rain, which are inexistent in the town. The fair's and shed's colonnade make social life possible, even under unfavorable conditions.
Punta del Diablo was, at its origin, a fishermen small town at the uruguayan atlantic shore. Its natural beauty generated a considerable urban growth by means of a disordered aggregation of stational small houses. The abscence of government control allowed a lot of constructions (dwellings, but most of all informal craft commerce and fishermen warehouses) to occupied the seashore and even a whole beach. In 2001 the government decided the demolition of these structures and their substitution in accordance to a new masterplan. A public competition was held for the provition of forty booths and nine warehouses for the fishermen according to a very tight budget (U$ 180.000), which our office won.
Once completed, the fair of craftsmen was incorporated to urban life in a most natural and successfull way. Maybe the fact that it was built in the same place traditionaly occupied by craftsmen and that its structure provides shelter from summer sun and rain, was decisive. All through the last twelve years craftsmen provided building maintenance and when recently, fire seriously damaged the fair's structure, they firmly claimed for its careful reconstruction, which is at this moment under our office direction. We think that no better proof of the success of the project can be found.