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  • Alejandra Esteve Cortés

Olivum- A grid of voids along the landscape

After Spain’s civil war, the country fell into a dark, silent and important poverty, where scarcity abounded. The government designed the “Instituto de Colonización”. The aim was to colonize rural territories with potential for agricultural uses. More than 300 towns of colonization where built by the National Institute of Colonization. Leading to one of the biggest migration episodes in our history. 55,000 families moved to these towns. Each family was given a house and 8 hectares to explote and turn the land from dryland to irrigated productive land. Obando, a town whose future is uncertain, as many other of these towns which haven’t been able to adapt to the changes and is facing a strong ageing population, which may conclude in the dissapearance of these towns. The first lecture we make of this territory, is the contrast between the built and the non - built. Between a mass and a rural void that expands and colonizes the whole territory. We shall interpret these masses (the towns) as megaforms that look like if they have been thrown randomely, but which depend on many other facts. Olivum, I + D Center is born from a masterplan of expanding one of these small colonization towns called Obando, which finds itself lying in an industrial landscape. The study taken identifies the huge potential and richness of the lands that siege this town. Surrounded by an important olive grove, the project wants to find a new way of living industry. Olive can be used for a multitude of different uses (such as cosmetics, medicinal, carpentry). The project unifies three different phases: The production, the investigation and the experience. And by these, also unified three different users."