2009-2010. Josep-María Martín. A DIGESTIVE HOUSE FOR LAVAPIÉS (2009.05 / project review / theoretical data)



Josep-Maria Martin was invited to participate in the collective exhibition “Habitat/Variations”, in 2007, in order to rethink the concept of habitat and different ways of life. To develop the project, the Genevan architect Raphaél Nussbaumer suggested a collaboration to reflect together on the spaces in which we live.

That first experience in Switzerland makes it very interesting to continue thinking on Madrid’s new project. Madrid Abierto’s open call 2009-2010 is a good opportunity to keep reflecting on how space helps us confront memory.


To question the space we live in and establish an analogy between the digestive system and the home, as an organism that digests personal and collective memory. It is a way to focus on the relationship between spaces that people live in and how it can help individuals manage and confront history, personal and collective memory with the cognitive realm of life and the well being of people. We intend to find answers to the relationship between habitat-memory:

- How can our own history, the one we contribute, coexist with the history we find in reality?
- Do we experience the legacy of a place’s memory?
- What do we contribute to the memory of a certain place?
- How do we face our personal and collective memory?
- What influence does the habitat have on the individual, the family, community…?
- How does space help us digest the events of our lives?
- What is a family’s quality of life?
- How do family members contribute to it?
- How does it affect personal and professional relationships?
- How do we face cultural displacement?
- How do we live with people belonging to other cultures and backgrounds?

- Propose the intervention of an architect to develop the project collectively.
- Identify a family form the neighborhood of Lavapies to carry out the idea.
- Open up a participation process.
- Identify and invite different interlocutors linked to the project.
- Research on how the habitat helps us face memory.
- Carry out interviews with each of the people identified as significant.
- Reflect on family life in Lavapies.
- Order the obtained information.
- Elaborate and conceptualize the proposal.
- Design the architectural project.
- Debate about the proposal with the family and other previously interviewed interlocutors.
- Design the executive project.
- Build and open the designed space.
- Evaluate the experience.
- Create a web site and a documentary about the project.
- Spread the project.
- Experiment for a period of 3 months with the prototype.