The book presents general tables from the original plan entered for the competition and the executive plan, as well as precise graphic and photographic documentation of the work.
Ravines are a geographical feature of Tenerife and of the Canary Islands in general. Formed over the centuries by the combined action of water descending towards the sea and the obstacles it has encountered along the way, they have their own natural identity and have the capacity to condition Man’s labors while, at the same time, absorbing the consequences of them. Stretching for 8 km between the towns of La Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Barranco de Santos was decisive in deciding the shape of Santa Cruz, cutting it in two for about 3 km before it reaches the sea. Over the last two centuries, the fact that the ravine is regarded as an obstacle – a “stone and water guest” to be ignored (and not only metaphorically) – has led to a serious impoverishment of the biodiversity of its riverbed (in several places, it has been transformed into a refuse dump), but it has also led to the marginalization and consequent degradation of the urban fabric on either side of it. The Palerm & Tabares de Nava studio came up with a solution, which won a national competition held in 1994. The plan, which was developed and executed between 1997 and 2010, is an environmental recovery program. The aim is to make the Barranco part of the urban landscape, giving it back its autonomy as a natural feature, by creating a long, thin park stretching from the sea to the mountains and, at the same time, augmenting its importance as a pillar of a system of public recreational areas and services infrastructures for the town. Introduced by articles written by Marco Mulazzani and Palerm & Tabares de Nava, the book describes the condition of the Barranco de Santos before the area was restored. It presents general tables from the original plan entered for the competition and the executive plan, as well as precise graphic and photographic documentation of the work done in each of the three sectors and on specific themes – walls, floors, vegetation, illumination – that distinguish the project. The book ends with an extensive photographic report by Roland Halbe, compiled especially for the occasion. Studio Palerm & Tabares de Nava Arquitectos – one of the leading architects – studios in
the Canary Islands – was founded in 1986 by Juan Manuel Palerm (1957) and Leopoldo Tabares de Nava (1958) and is based in Santa Cruz di Tenerife. Its work is based on reflection on the relationship between architecture and the specific nature of the landscape of the Canary Islands. Over the years, the work of Palerm & Tabares de Nava has been admired for its capacity to tackle different scales – architectural, urban and territorial – gradually focusing the theme of constructing the landscape as a
synthesis of distinct procedures and actions, to safeguard and transform the territory.