Why did you choose this place ?
I chose this place because it was the first one that came to my mind when I thought of somewhere I felt comfortable in, I grew up in here and it holds a very special place in my heart. Having just moved to Valencia, one of the first things I noticed was the contrast between the luxury of this city and the modesty of where I come from. Carrús used to be the outskirt of Elche, and it was built in a rush, around the 60’s and 70’s, in order to expand the city when a lot of inmigration came here mainly from Murcia and the villages around looking for employement and better quality of life, now its the home of thousands of working class families like mine.
It fills me with rage when this types of areas are thought of as unimportant just because they were not built to be «beautiful», as they needed to be cheap in order to be affordable for the budgets of the future owners and it was also a priority that they could be built in a short period of time. In this enviroment was where I was born and raised, and it means home to me as well as the rest of the people that lives here.
What makes you comfortable?
I think what makes me comfortable in this environment is the fact that I spent my hole childhood here and I know it very well. As well as in me and in the other neighbours, you can see the passing of time in the washed out façades, but it still feels like nothing has changed. I also recently learnt that my grandpa participated in the making of the area, as he was a construction engineer, and that is one of the things that inspired me to get into this career. Seeing how after his passing his work remained there, housing all of those families made me realize the magic of architecture.
Is there some disruptive element?
Yes, some of the buildings that were falling apart had to be demolished, and were replaced by basic looking cheap mass produced modern buildings that completely destroy the already poor aesthetic.
Do you think you would feel the same way in another space right now?
Certainly not, because I don’t think I coud feel this much appreciation for a place like this.
Do you think that the conditions of this space influence its occupants? How ?
Of course. I think that the lack of cultural elements deeply affects the quality of life of its occupants. A sad, uninspiring environment reflects on the mood and behaviour of the people that lives here. Having nothing to be entertained with, having nothing to look at has a huge impact in people´s development of sensitivity, and that is heavily related to the crime rates of areas like this one. Because of this is very important not to forget the outskirts and invest on its maintenance, as well as to incorporate elements witch cultural, aesthetic an of course architectural value.