El Niu (“nest” in Catalan) is a temporary architectural intervention that was designed for the Bòlit. It is located on the rooftop of one of its spaces at La Rambla, in a building that was a former police station, and it is now considered a heritage building. Its main purpose is to provide the Art Center with the necessary temporary infrastructure to do its artistic research and interventions. With the budged of a "visiting artist", we took on all the intervention; design, implementation, construction management, construction safety and civil responsibility.
For its construction, we recycled four containers that were coming from Saragossa and reused given materials and elements, such as the access staircase that was given to us by Straddle3
, whom also helped us with the construction process. Moreover, the containers were coated with leaf litter, branches and Czechoslovak camouflage fabrics to simulate a nest. This nest has a parodic attitude, as the one that we had with “the hedgehog” made for the Espai d'Art Contemporani of Castellón
What distinguishes the Niu from all the other spaces belonging to the Bòlit
—as well as from all the other institutional spaces related to artistic practices— is that it works not just as an exhibition and production space, but also as a temporary artistic residence (for national and overseas artists invited by the Bòlit
for short stays). The immediate consequence of this action is that the operating hours does not restrict the Niu, an aspect that results unusual for an institutional space.
Evaluation and Protocols
The most experimental and greatest achievement was not to install the structure and the 4 modules on the balustrade on an old building; it was to solve, in just one day, all the paperwork and processes related to the responsibilities that the City Hall of Gerona demanded from us, due the disputes between the political parties. This left to the team of Recetas Urbanas, the whole responsibility for the legalization of each of the interventions that were related to the project, including the ones for the developer, the public supervisor and the self-builder.
At the end, the project for the residences was not done as it was planned, and because it was avoided that the artists and researchers could sleep there, or at least that was what it was supposed to. This action was the result of the fear of the public institutions (that repeats in several projects) to the fact of mixing creativity and production with the housing component. Our experiences in other projects about this topic are irrefutable; the action of cohabitate with people you work with in specific project is an enriching experience for the creation of common proposals.
It was not possible for the project to reach the 2 years of function that were planned from the beginning, and at the end, the period was shorten to one year and a half. The reason for this was the repeated fights and tensions between the different political parties and the public. The most pathetic part of the whole process were the desperate attacks of the CIU, whom even decided to attack the fact that I am from Andalusia to invalidate the project.
An important element on it was the management that allowed that a collective of architects got the possibility of doing a cession of a public heritage from the Saragossa City Hall to the Gerona City Hall (another different region).
Nowadays, these 4 containers can be found on a new self-manage space created by the Aoscuras collective in Pradejón, La Rioja.
Budgets and Resources
Rambla de la Libertat
Project Data Sheet
Visible, p.140-147, Sternberg Press, Turín, Italia, 2010. [978-1-934105-09-2]
Una Ciudad llamada España
, p.290-295, Gustavo Gili, Madrid, España, 2010. [978-84-252-2381-5]
, p.37-45, Madrid, España, 2010. 
Arquitecturas Colectivas. Camiones, Contenedores, Colectivos
, Vibk, Sevilla, España, 2010. [978-84-6136026-0]