Linea De Llengües (Platja de Palma, Mallorca, Spain)
Anton Zoetmulder & Elise Zoetmulder [Europan 2017, preselected for Europan 14]
The project aims to integrate the rich Mallorcan history and culture into a multifunctional, connective lively street through the traditional ´Ikat´ weaving technique where ‘‘Roba de Llengües’’ patterns are transformed into an interactive urban fabric. The LINEA DE LLENGÜES is born! Once swept from the East – along the Silk Route – to the West, the ´Ikat´ footprints are still visible in the sand of Platja de Palma.
For many years Mallorcan craftsmen have adapted traditional Ikat into an abstracted flame shaped pattern inspired by its local landscape and Mediterranean colors. By adapting the typical Roba de Llengües patterns into an exceptional three-dimensional pavement, it becomes a signifier of cultural identity evoking opportunities and encouraging the relationship between local activity and tourism.
The project paves and pedestrianizes the entire LINEA DE LENGÜES; the existing trees are preserved; valuable buildings are highlighted. At an urban scale the typical flame-shaped tongues act as signal directions, indicate places and create spaces. Emphasis is directed towards market areas; meeting points are created, and green spots embraced. The three-dimensional translation of the patterns creates opportunities for local retailers and pedestrians. As such thestreet becomes a vibrant productive district with craftsmen, makers and local production from the hinterland. The ordinary Calle Gran 1 Generall Consell is transformed into a diverse and unique urban fabric that encourages interaction and activities whilst the different colors and patterns create a variety of actions and atmospheres.
What is your take on the isometric projection? What defined the different drawings through which you reveal the intervention?
We like the 2d-3d aspect of the isometric projection. The combination of the static plan and façade drawing with the lively atmosphere of a 3d-representation. We think this is especially suitable for the representation of an urban idea.
Our main concept; the utilization of the IKAT textile pattern to create a diverse and lively urban experience, is represented in different scales and drawing types.
A big 2D plan drawing shows how the IKAT unites the urban fabric while simultaneously creating different zones through nuances in color and pattern.
In the presenting methods of these zones we used a sequences of drawings emphasizing the different scale in the design.
Starting with the original IKAT textile fabric transformed into a IKAT inspired brick pattern, both are seen in 2D which shows the relation from textile into brick.
From these 2D patterns 3D furniture designs arise, shown separately in smaller isometric projections. The circles in which they are presented emphasize that they are components which can be used to curate the urban space.
The bigger isometric drawings show the arrangement of these components. And how the IKAT patterns influence and attach to the surrounding architecture.
Concluding, the eye level 3D visualizations show the atmosphere and specific usage of each of the zones.
What role do the silhouettes play? How do these inform the images and architecture?
There are so many ways to draw and look at scale figures, but in the end they show the way you use the designed space and its corresponding atmosphere.
Here we wanted the figures to emphasize the playful happiness of the design and its diverse participants, namely beach tourists and local residents. The bold colors and wacky positions are informed by the explicit character of the IKAT patterns and are inspired by the style of Keith Haring. He claimed that art should be for everybody, as we aspire to create spaces which can be used by everybody. And so closing the gap between tourists and residents.
Next to this we wanted to create small narratives with the silhouettes, which make the image more fun to explore further. And simultaneously informing the viewer more about the varied design intentions.
Because we drawn the figures ourselves we had unlimited control over the narratives told by the silhouettes.
- In every big isometric drawing you can find a stripped WALDO figure. Good luck 😉
What was your work process in terms of drafting of drawings?
Once the concept is finalized we think about how we can explain the design narrative. We decided that every step in the design narrative needed its own type of representation and scale. Through this, we knew at an early stage in the design process, far before the design was finished, what products we wanted to deliver for the final presentation. We explored the different representation types by finding references, deciding standpoints, exporting streetviews, drafting simple 3d-models and making collages. We elaborated them at first by sketching over them, before starting with the final images. The final images were made using a combination of techniques. The silhouettes are hand drawn, scanned and finalized in Photoshop. The isometric projections are simple Sketch Up models elaborated in Photoshop. The 3d-perspective are a combination of Streetview exports, Sketch Up models and finished in Photoshop.
What is your take on contemporary digital tools through which we draw?
As you say they are tools like a pencil or a drill, it is important to switch different tools while creating a design. At the start of a design we mainly make hand drawings which we scan and edit in the computer. When the design is more final we switch this around; we create 3D models on the computer which we print out and draw on. We continuously shift between different tools, both digital and manual. We feel when drawing by hand you can make better and intuitive decisions about the composition instead of deciding in photoshop or illustrator. It is crucial to use all senses while designing!
I think this is because we are both from an in-between generation. We grew up sketching by hand as small kids, but we only learned some computer skills during our teens. We are very curious if the next generation, who are growing up with an Ipad in their hands, will be able to make intuitive design decision using only digital tools.
How do the textiles inform and affect the surrounding landscape?
The street pattern is inspired by the historic IKAT textile patterns which are distinctive for the island Mallorca. The original IKAT weaving technique arrived in Mallorca along the Silk Road. The Mallorca craftsman mastered the technique and started designing new patterns inspired by the landscape and natural beauty of Mallorca. The Mallorca IKAT patterns represent mountains, waves, shells and other natural characteristics of Mallorca. So, in fact, the surrounding landscape (mountains & sea) inform and effect our new urban intervention.
Additionally, the street patterns create a collective bond and renewed appreciation for the craft. The boldness of the patterns makes it stand out for visitors, digging deeper, they will understand that the patterns are inspired by the beautiful landscape of Mallorca. Hopefully luring them of the beach towards the hinterland.
What informs the types of textile/ patterns and the site upon which they are superimposed?
First of all the patterns should be fun and create a different shade of atmosphere throughout the street. Simultaneously each pattern holds its specific functions which makes each part unique. We first selected patterns which could be easily transformed into paving. Then we divided the patterns in directional or non-directional. The non-directional patterns we’ve used at the squares at the beginning and end of the street. The directional patterns we used perpendicular or parallel to the street to create different effects. For example at the market space; the vertical lines in the pattern are the same width as a market stall which makes placing the stalls more organized and easy. The round shapes at the beach square create a more relaxed atmosphere with seating and referring to the grains of sand. In the first segment, near the beach, we used a perpendicular pattern to indicate a division for the (already present) terraces and shops.
Did you think of using the existing fabric to develop a textile and thereby inverting the process?
No, but this could be a result when the design is embraced by its residents and visitors. Hopefully by bringing these traditional craft patterns in this contemporary context they are there to stay and will be developed further. Originally the colors and shapes of the pattern took its inspiration from the rough landscape of the island, perhaps this new urban application initiates new inspiration.
What is the ultimate objective of this project?
Creating a qualitative and fun urban space with a clear narrative, immediately understood and embraced by both tourist and resident. And thus closing the gap between locals and tourists. Additionally; creating respect for the history of Mallorca while showing a clear vision towards a new future.
Brother and sister, Anton and Elise Zoetmulder, have a multidisciplinary and integral working method in the field of design. He: architect and landscape designer. She: product designer and interior architect. In their work they combine poetry with engineering both on a large and a small scale.
This results in unusual and particular artisanal designs with a underlying narrative structure. Despite their young age, they have built up an impressive portfolio, which varies from product- and interior designs to hotels, schools and housing construction.
Architecture (design) runs in their blood, as their mother, being well-known architect Jeanne Dekkers. The economic crisis offered Anton and Elise the opportunity, to reshape the family company Jeanne Dekkers Architectuur.
In the year 2016 Anton and Elise travelled a month in China, whereupon they decided to join the company. The collaboration between the three offers Anton and Elise a special position, in which they bring every task by supervision of Jeanne to a higher level. Recently Anton and Elise became partner of Jeanne Dekkers Architectuur and will set an ambitious plan to a new future.