Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Introverted and knotted spaces within modern and contemporary urban fabrics: passages, gallerias and covered squares
Marco Falsetti, Pina Ciotoli

Last modified: 22-11-2019


The scenic plaza mayor shares with the theater organisms some formative characters, since they both derive from a transformation, by knotting, of pre-existing buildings and fabrics.

This architectural transformation is generated, at the beginning, by a change in the modalities of using public space. As for the corral de comedias, the process is due to the sedentarization of the theatrical practice, which abandons the itinerant dimension of the street to move inside the buildings (such as private homes and palaces).

The original corral de comedias was in fact set up inside an open place that could be covered, and this feature became permanent  over time, creating a new building type. Similarly, since the sixteenth century,  squares became the fundamental location of Spanish civic life as well as they hosted all sorts of political, religious and festive representations, but also the venue of executions. For this purpose, namely to allow people to watch such events, the squares were transformed, by raising temporary walls and walkways. In some cases, like Tembleque and San Carlos del Valle, they began to realize permanent continuous balconies, with solutions that seem to have followed the same morphological evolution of corrales de comedias.

In both cases it was necessary to unify different elements (buildings or rooms) and connect them to each other, through a process of “knotting”, in order to create a new organism. Over time the physiognomy of the spaces, originally open,  assumed the permanent characters of a new type, closed and similar to the courtyard of a “palazzo”.

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