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Alberto Fernández Zequeira

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Competition Guidelines
Town of Culebra
About the Area

Traditional town centers are the urban counterpart of the rural imaginary, prevalent, as a rule, in representations of Puerto Rican identity. The transformation of a rural economy into an industrial one after the 1950s, favored other settlement forms, particularly suburban developments spurred by the potential of the automobile. At present, urban centers compete with shopping mega-structures. Having experienced substantial population losses in the last decades, they are now reduced to mere service centers.

The Project for the Revitalization of Traditional Urban Centers of the Department of Urbanism, promotes the qualitative regeneration of public space as the first step of a resettlement strategy. This initiative has offered artists a vast stock of public spaces and buildings, as a means of adding art to the heart of island towns. Such works should celebrate the characteristics of each town without falling prey to nostalgia or a false reconciliation with populist expressions. The selected works evidence a vast array of formats and themes, that range from the praise of natural landscape to bolder visions, committed to the future of these strongholds of everyday life in Puerto Rico.

The island of Culebra lives in the constant rolling movement between the sea and the land. Canopy symbolizes this dynamic and celebrates it, embracing those who arrive at its shores and bidding farewell to raised sails. The work is conceived as a site of passage, a place for lively meetings, where the best of Culebra may be enjoyed: its sea, its atmosphere, and specially, its people.

The canopy faces the sea. It is a functional structure that greets residents and visitors into an oasis of shade, movement and color. Spectators who arrive at the beautiful island of Culebra through the port, will find a choreography of forms and glows floating in the air, radiating a sense of peace and quiet.

The brightly-colored leaves reflect the flora, the joy of living, and the generous hearts of the residents of this small island. The ceilings, made of organically-shaped sheets, represent the leaves of the trees. The sinuous beams are the branches and columns of its tree trunks. This piece breathes with the life of natural forests, allowing the free flow of pleasant Caribbean breezes, and of passersby who find protection under its foliage.
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