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Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura

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Sagüés will house the TAC! Festival pavilion that will deal with the challenges of the climate emergency within the framework of the Mugak/ Biennial

Photo: Mikel Blasco

  • Donostia-San Sebastián is, together with Vaència, the venue in 2023 for the festival promoted by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) and the Arquia Foundation
  • The festival will take place in Donostia-San Sebastián from October 10 to November 16 within the framework of the previous activities of the Basque Country International Architecture Biennial
  • The call for the ideas competition for its construction is aimed at young architecture professionals and is open until May 12

The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda (MITMA), together with the Arquia Foundation, and the Basque Government's Mugak/ International Architecture Biennial, together with Habic, have presented this morning the call for architecture professionals for the design of the temporary pavilion under which the second edition of TAC! Urban Architecture Festival will take place. This year Donostia-San Sebastián has been chosen as one of the two venues for the festival together with València to showcase the talent of young architecture in Spain. The competition for the design of the pavilion, which will be located in Sagüés, will be open until May 12.

“Weaving networks between institutions and professionals is one of the main objectives of TAC!. For this reason, we believe that many cities will continue to join the festival in the coming years, thus creating a learning network of exemplary practices”, commented Iñaqui Carnicero, Secretary General of the Urban Agenda and Housing of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) and promoter of the initiative during the presentation.

Pablo García Astrain, director of Housing, Land and Architecture of the Basque Government, has highlighted that "the new generations of architecture professionals have a lot to say about how we can face the challenge of climate change from the architectural and urban perspective, so it is noteworthy that TAC! Festival and the Mugak/ Biennial come together with the aim of making their work visible and giving them a voice in a debate on the significance of the climate emergency”.

Nuria Matarredona, General Director of Urban Agenda and Architecture (MITMA), wanted to emphasize her desire that "the pavilion serve as a forum for reflection on the architecture and sustainability of the city and become a revulsive that shows us how the architecture and culture can help us solve some of the great social challenges”.

The event, which will be held in the city from October 10 to November 16, will host various cultural activities that will take place in the pavilion and will turn the city into a location for innovation and experimentation in public space. This year the main axis will be the reflection on the role of architecture in the challenges facing the urban environment in the current context of climate emergency.

Javier Peña, artistic director of the festival, has highlighted that “the existence of projects like TAC! that allow us to explore new ways of designing the urban environment is paramount. Even more so in San Sebastián and in a location like Sagüés, a public space that is a limit full of opportunities. It is this lack of definition that we now propose to address through architecture, innovation and climate awareness at such an important moment”.

Donostia-San Sebastián, design in terms of sustainability

In the context of urgency imposed by climate change, San Sebastián proposes to explore the theme defined for the fourth edition of the Basque Country International Architecture Biennial Mugak/: rebuild, reinhabit, rethink. All this, in the midst of the emergence of organizations, companies, institutions, collectives, architecture studios and new talents, which raise the need to understand the design of spaces in terms of sustainability, inclusiveness and care for the environment.

The pavilion will be located on the Sagüés esplanade, a place between the urban and the natural where sea, mountain and city converge, in a topography where beauty and the harshness of the abrupt emerge. It is the end of a seafront that, through its promenade, connects with the city, in an unfinished place with a strong local identity. It is a unique meeting place where families, fans of surfing or skateboarding and walkers live together and enjoy the sun and the sea.

María Arana, curator of this edition of Mugak/, has stressed that “to celebrate architecture, we must celebrate the street. The pavilions want to be an invitation to reflect on an architecture designed to be reused and transformed, adapted to multiple contexts or needs, under the principles of the circular economy. We are looking for a "circular architecture", multifunctional, flexible and reversible, which serves to provide multiple responses in this context of uncertainty and permanent changes".

Call for the design of the pavilions and jury

The pavilion will be chosen through a call for architecture professionals aged up to 45 years. The General Secretariat for the Urban Agenda and Housing of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, in collaboration with the Arquia Foundation, have convened this ideas competition for the design of the pavilions in València and Donostia-San Sebastián.

After the jury's decision, the winning studios will obtain a prize of €12,000 and will carry out their projects with an estimated budget of up to €90,000 for execution, which may be increased with contributions from sponsorships. There will also be a second and third prize, valued at €3,000 and €2,000, respectively.

Participants will be able to access the rules of the call on the festival's website and submit their project until May 12 through the web form. The contest will have a specialized jury made up of representatives of the institutions that make up this edition of the Festival. This jury will select the two winning projects, two finalists for each location with a financial prize and three mentions.

About TAC! Urban Architecture Festival

TAC! Urban Architecture Festival is an initiative launched by the General Secretariat of Urban Agenda and Housing of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA), in collaboration with the Arquia Foundation, which is aimed at young architects and born with a annual vocation.

The mission of this festival is to unite contemporary architecture and young practice with reflection on the urban and the social through the construction of a temporary pavilion. Each edition is made up of two calls: a call to be a TAC! City and a contest of ideas for the creation of the temporary pavilion.

About the Basque Country International Architecture Biennial Mugak/

The Basque Country International Architecture Biennial Mugak/ is advancing towards its fourth edition in 2023, consolidating itself as one of the main architectural events of the Atlantic Arc. Organized by the Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport of the Basque Government, this year it delves deeper into its desire to be an open space, the result of collaboration between various agents, to become a meeting point with citizens where they value the importance of architecture as the element that backbones the quality of the inhabited environment.

In this year's edition, Mugak/ focuses on the motto rebuild, reinhabit, rethink. Thus, the Biennial is considered as a cultural infrastructure open to citizens and to the group of actors that participate in urban life, to generate conversations and reflections that connect with the debates that are taking place globally.

The Programme is being prepared