Lab for Planning and Architecture (LPA) is a leading planning and design firm, focusing on the sustainable and organic development of southern regions and territories—the socalled subtropics that feature semi-arid and Mediterranean environmental regimes. LPA has a deep commitment to the speciic (economic, social and environmental) potentialities of the subtropics, which are deployed in line with the principles and protocols of the philosophy of eco-design thinking.
The firm is structured into three divisions that enables the integration of strategic, design and execution phases of the urban development process. With the understanding of urban environments as a complex symbiosis of (ecological, political, infrastructural, psychological…) systems, LPA provides services in the fields of strategic development, master planning, urban design, infrastructures and landscape architecture.
LPA has accumulated extensive experience in the practice of subtropical urbanism and its subsequent urban and landscape configurations: waterfronts, tourist destinations, eco-resorts, public spaces, recreational spaces, outdoor commercial areas, friendly pedestrian precincts, mobility infrastructure… The firm has received accolades in various diverse national and international competitions.
With offices in the Canary Islands and Madrid, LPA is engaged in projects in the two subtropical strips that run around the globe, where regular collaborations with local partners and consultants are established.
LPA has a sister non-profit organization called Twenty Degrees Institute (20ºi). This new concept is devoted to research and speculative thinking on the sustainable urban development of the subtropical south.
Julio Navarro Swimming Club is located in a privileged area dominated by green areas and parks. The project consists of the renovation of the existing pedestrian connection between the two existing swimming pools; adapting it to the needs of people with physical disabilities and reduced mobility. These aspects together with the landscape integration of the existing palms and trees have been the main driving logics of the proposal. The design consists of a triangular mesh that articulates the main components of the project: the linear pathway of staircases, the zig-zag ramps and the triangular mesh itself. The result is a coherent topography of triangular planes in which the resulting landscape is more than the sum of its functional components. The use of net stones, along with gardens and draining materials, means that more than 60% of the project´s components are permeable surfaces.
The design upgrades the traditional advertising poles proliferating in malls and gas stations which are used mainly for advertising and business visibility. The design strategy seeks to enhance its functionality by improving its visual access. The design system consists of rotating eight blocks of a prism in accordance with the movement of vehicles around the roundabouts where they are placed. Each module includes a video screen similar to those in football stadiums. The video panels give information regarding access to car parks, availability of parking spaces and commercial ads. It is planned that the management of commercial ads shown on the displays will permit the municipality to amortize these totems in four years time.
The project addresses nearly 40 kilometres of coastline, including east and west sides of a peninsula. It also includes a sustainable mobility system as an alternative to the existing one. The solution incorporates two systems: one functional (heavy traffic) and another more oriented to leisure-wise enjoyment (light and public traffic). Functional mobility incorporates the existing by-pass and the major existing roads of the city. Leisure-wise mobility favours light and alternative traffic, including bicycles, trams and pedestrians. Ten well-equipped parks are placed along the waterfront, as a result of the crossing of urban and natural corridors. Each park seamlessly combines urban programs and facilities, transport hubs and open spaces and parks. By exploiting the urban possibilities of outdoor living and mass enjoyment of the coast, the project aims to condense and deploy the subtropical potential of Las Palmas de GC.
Maspalomas Beach is one of the most renowned beaches in Europe and one of the main tourist attractions on the island of Gran Canaria. The aim of the project is to provide services for the beach users, including staircases, showers, benches and lockers. The design integrates the functional program in a wooden topography that replicates the shape of the surrounding dunes, permitting unexpected uses. Thanks to digital fabrication techniques, the resulting “dune” does not compromise the viability of its construction and provides a complete removable solution. Besides the wooden beans and floors, the materials used include natural filtering systems for showers, integrated mini-solar panels, salt-water plants, and light foundations; all compatible with the beach environment.
The Cenobio of Valeron is a pre-Hispanic granary excavated more than five hundred years ago by the ancient inhabitants of the island of Gran Canaria. Its difficult accessibility helped to preserve this large pantry from potential raids of plunder and looting. The project aims to connect the 300 meter gap between the car park and the archaeological site along a very sharp slope. The program of uses consists of an accessible pedestrian route, complemented by a control area and an interpretation center at both extremes. The project is resolved by three sections of control coming out from the evaluation of minimum land excavation and three different landscape experiences (cultural, panoramic and archaeological). The interchange area is the result of bridging the gap between the three control sections with 3D software. The different spatial scenarios that the visitor enjoys along the way transform the visits of tourists into a memorable and educational experience