CAÑADA’s (IN) formal REALanguage

Landscape Architecture and Public Space

Cañada Real Galiana, located in the east of Madrid, is considered the largest informal settlement in Europe. Due to its legal, and consequently structural, informal character, the settlement structure – grown over decades – is perceived as an external intrusion in the landscape, which is increasingly shaped by large-scale projects in the suburban area of the capital. Where these different structures get a closer spatial connection, the different subcultures do not seem to grow together, but fears and the resulting stigmatization. The concept hypothesizes, that the social integration of the Cañada Real Galiana as a common communication between different subcultures depends on the spatial communication of the associated landscape areas.

Following this approach, the different landscape areas are considered as different structural languages, which are conveyed together through the concept. The methodic framework for this concept is the theory of “Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander, which considers the landscape as a conglomerate of patterns, build on one another and therefore jointly form a hierarchy from the smallest to the largest possible scale. Following this methodic framework, a language is considered as a conglomerate of patterns. Teaching the languages of two different subcultures, bases on the translation of the character of the particular structure from the scale-level of the individual, to the community of these individuals in neighborhoods, to the subculture consisting of different neighborhoods. Based on the understanding of the own language of the informal settlement, formed by different levels and its patterns, in the largest scale and final concept step the subcultures of Cañada Real Galiana and the planned city of Rivas Vaciamadrid are exemplarily conveyed. This spatial mediation is stimulated on all scales of the concept across the borders between the individual patterns, or in this way parts which form a language. In the end, it forms the concept framework for the subcultures not to take differences as an occasion for mutual stigmatization, but rather to make those differences visible via the patterns of which they consist, in the first step and in the second step to communicate differences spatially with one another on this base.

Entwurf CAÑADA’s (IN)formal REALanguage, Plan 1
München, 2020 © Fabian Konopka
Entwurf CAÑADA’s (IN)formal REALanguage, Plan 2
München, 2020 © Fabian Konopka
Entwurf CAÑADA’s (IN)formal REALanguage, Plan 3
München, 2020 © Fabian Konopka
Entwurfsebenen CAÑADA’s INformal REALanguage
München, 2020 © Fabian Konopka
Die fehlende Infrastruktur bildet eine der größten Herausforderungen für die Cañada
Cañada Real Galiana, 2019 © Fabian Konopka