|Resumen: ||In 1967, the philosopher Michel Foucault enunciated the concept of heterotopia, meant as espace autre, in contrast to the utopias, that has the power to juxtapose in one real place different spaces, different locations which are mutually exclusive. Starting from this premise, we can think about some contemporary landscapes where memory and times overlap as paradigms of heterotopia as the Acropolis park in Athens by Dimitri Pikionis, the Great Cretto of Gibellina by Alberto Burri or the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington by Maya Lin.
In LAB/PAP, an architectural research group of the University of Valladolid, in Spain, we have had the opportunity to realize very interesting reflections in relation to three very significant works, creating our own experiments in the form of contemporary heterotopias, that organize three different ways to relate time and memory.
1. Overlapping between time and memory. The Iter Plata project tries to make visible the memory of the ancient Roman road Via de la Plata, in the Castilla and Leon’s region, in a route of 263 kilometers.
The Iter Plata provides for the recovery of the linear system making it recognizable where it is possible, sometimes with the visible remains of the Roman road or the elements that flanked it and sometimes just with the evocation of the landscape or the inclusion of other elements. The result can be seen as a huge heterotopia, for being a project that involves the overlapping of time and place, setting up a palimpsest of time and memory, later writing that can be read on different levels by the viewer.
2. Displacement of time and memory. A challenge for our work has been the realization of a punctual exercise with a large amplitude, the pedestrian walkway for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Puente Villarente, Leon, an infrastructure that provides a linear displacement through the time starting from a patrimonial element, the ancient bridge over the river Porma, loaded with a heavy traffic that poses a serious threat to the pilgrims.
As a complement to the bridge has been designed a walkway that migrates downstream, to construct a new time to a few tens of meters. Displacing the walkway, the walker devices a new memory which overlaps the personal one and the experience of crossing the river watching the ancient bridge, as a doubling of its physical time.
3. Disappearance of time and memory. The Garden of Sefarad is a memorial landscape of the ancient Jewish Medieval cemetery in Avila. The construction of a collector brought out casually the old cemetery; the excavation of the large pit intercepted a hundred of tombs that had to be evacuated for the installation of the infrastructure. Once realized the collector, the Laboratory has proposed a memorial landscape that give a completely ritual character to the area occupied by the cemetery, not visible to the city and allow to re-bury the medieval remains. The Garden of Sefarad is a landscape of time and memory, a place of evocation and emotional meeting, which has been built on the site of the old Jewish cemetery, making it visible, in dialogue with the historic city center: an excited heterotopia.|