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Agriculture Interpretation Centre, Aranzadi Park, Pamplona. Spain, by Aldayjover Architects

Photos: Jordi Bernadó andPedro Pegenaute.

The management of muck, in one form or another, is the essence of farming. But, for city dwellers, increasing urbanisation has broken the link between the food we eat and the land that produced it. City farms, designed to reintroduce this connection, if not entirely repair it, have traditionally been manifest as farms, muck and all, to provide an authentic rural experience for the town dweller. But the clumsily named Agriculture Interpretation Centre at Aranzadi Park, Pamplona. Spain, has been designed by Aldayjover Architects with a different approach.

To begin with, the architects have sought complete integration between architecture and the landscape. And then the architecture creates a series of classrooms, indoors and outdoors, that tie into the individual agricultural processes being practised thereabouts. Much more like a college of agriculture than a city farm, accept the students are often young children.

Architecturally, the light airy classrooms, using translucent materials and white painted steel structure, appear deliberately to separate the teaching activities from the muck-management aspect of farming. By abstracting the formal teaching spaces in this way, the complex does not pretend to be a proper farm that happens to be located in the city, a place to feel good by petting a farm animal. Rather it is a more formal place to learn about agriculture, how it is practised, and how it affects all our lives.


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