Continental islands: Ceuta and Gibraltar : A typological research into transactional and partially autonomous territories
Cis: Ceuta and Gibraltar : A typological research into transactional and partially autonomous territories
Ceuta and Gibraltar : A typological research into transactional and partially autonomous territories
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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Continental Islands (Cis) are a geomorphologic formation of land disconnected from the mainland while sharing the same continental shelf. This characteristic of connectivity and remoteness blurs the Cis identity and its relation to the geopolitical territory of the 'mainland'. The geographical constraints and geopolitical ambiguity set the Cl in an important infrastructural role in national strategy and global economy. Although various urbanization theories study the effects of global economy and politics on urban form, few have proposed potential design strategies for the Deleuzian Cl definition. This thesis explores the CI as a typology of an operational, transactional and militarized space, proposing a new urban morphology that addresses the essence of its spatial form. The Cis I explore are located in the Strait of Gibraltar: Ceuta, a Spanish territory in Africa surrounded by Morocco; and Gibraltar, a British autonomy in Europe surrounded by Spain. Both territories are separated geographically, from their hinterlands, while acting as frontiers for a greater geopolitical power - the EU. As a result of their remoteness, both exclaves have extensive military presence and economic incentives. Whereas both CIs have a glorious past as imperial posts, today they are marginal within their national context, merely representing the geopolitical relationship between the EU and its edges. In this research I examine the unique urban form of both Ceuta and Gibraltar as derived from their militarized history and their operational function as places of transport, storage and transactions. The thesis presents a new design strategy to synthesize the dynamic nature of the CIs with its intense defensive infrastructure by drawing from Rossi's "urban artifact" theory and utilizing three spatial concepts: field, void and module. This design proposal will concentrate on the case of Ceuta, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the EU and unique social complexity. Subsequently, the design strategy emerges from the need for a new scenario that posits a future where global geopolitical forces change the intensity of operation. This proposal highlights the conditions of local inhabitants, legal and illegal economic infrastructures and existing spatial forms.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2016.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 243-254).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology