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University students present emergency and sustainable housing projects for those affected by the Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption

The work was directed by architect and professor César Ruiz-Larrea.

FotoCedida/Estudentsof postgraduate program of the University of Navarra who have participated in the project of houses in El Paso

21 | 07 | 2022

Students from postgraduate program of the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra have presented to the City Council of El Paso their collective housing projects for those affected by the volcano of La Palma. This project is an initiative of the architect and professor of Master's Degree in design and management Environmental Building, César Ruiz-Larrea, after the eruption of the volcano last September. Thus, the City Council of El Paso and the School of Architecture signed a partnership agreement with the goal that students provide architectural solutions for a plot of land in the municipality of El Paso.

The City Council has selected seven works for a exhibition in the municipality of El Paso, which was inaugurated last July 7 and where young architects present proposals for emergency housing with sustainable and industrialization criteria.

The mayor of the city of El Paso, Sergio Javier Rodríguez Fernández, explains that it is a "creative and unique" partnership that will offer "single-family homes and collective buildings, within a stylistic order of its own", mainly to young people under 35 years of age: "This commitment is now essential, because the economic consequences of the volcano are taking their toll on our population and the reported aging of the population of El Paso is a dangerous burden for our future".

The students, who are studying the Master's Degree in design and management Environmental Building of the University have worked on these proposals. The director of Master's Degree, Ana Sánchez-Ostiz, points out that this is an initiative "in tune" with the 2025 Strategy of the University, which, among other lines, is committed to "contribute to the resolution of the challenges posed by society through its work researcher , professor and assistance, and in partnership with other people and institutions". Likewise, the professor of the School of Architecture emphasizes that this subject of projects are the ones that the training of Master's Degree is committed to, "to train experts in the design, the management and the quantification of sustainability in its three aspects: environmental, social and economic": Environmental, social and economic".

The students have designed housing with the goal to rehouse families affected by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. "We wanted people to feel that they were in a peaceful and close place, that embraces the land they walk on, that would serve as model of action in case something similar happened again and that the affected population would not have to be homeless for so long," recalls student Ángel Gallo, who planned in the proposal "to take maximum advantage of sunlight, solar gain, cross ventilation, implementation of renewable energy systems, such as solar panels."

One of the students of the Master's Degree in design and management Environmental Buildings explains one of the exhibited projects.

The project in its origins

The project has been led by Professor César Ruiz-Larrea through the 'Sustainable Architecture Workshop' taught at Master's Degree. César Ruiz-Larrea proposed that it should be oriented to design of collective housing for those affected by the volcano in the municipality of El Paso. "It has been very little time that we could develop them," explains Professor Ruiz-Larrea, who adds that "they open again the unclosed discussion between the contradiction that we all live and specifically architecture and construction between the terms 'global' versus 'local' in which we have been immersed in the new paradigm of environmental crisis in which we find ourselves." The students worked on different ideas, seven of which are materialized in the current exhibition.

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