The warehouse (Tinglado) no. 2 of Valencia´s port, built in 1911 to a design by the engineers José María Fuster and Fausto Élio, is a building of particular signifying qualities. During its hundred years of existence, and thanks to a spatial configuration characterized by its lightness, permeability, and horizontality, this structure has been host of a wide array of activities, most of them related to the storing and distribution of commercial goods until it was handed over to the municipality in the early nineties. Since then, the warehouse has been simultaneously emptied out and filled up with content.
Freed from logistic functions and apparently immune to the commodification that normally ensues adaptive reuse, the Tinglado houses nowadays a myriad of sport and leisure activities proposed by an always changing landscape of users whose interests the building negotiates with ease. Unfortunately, in the early 2010’ the buzzing that resulted from the public appropriation of the space was mimicked by a rapid wear of its architecture that revealed itself in the corrosion of the cast-iron structure and the destabilization of some parts of the building.
Lacking sufficient funds to undertake an integral restoration project that had been approved in the year 2015, the authorities responsible for the warehouse commissioned us in late 2016 an emergency intervention on the structure in order to prevent its closure to the public before the renovation could begin. The budget—42.000 euros—was used to patch up the roof, to temporarily stabilize those sections at risk of collapse and, also, to encase the interior perimeter of the building with a translucent polyester fabric designed to limit the impact of pigeons and other birds on the cast-iron structure.
This fabric, relatively irrelevant from a functional perspective, became the most instrumental part of the intervention from an architectural point of view, for its abstraction and superficiality added a new meaning to the Tinglado—a meaning that not only reframed the activities that took place inside but, more importantly, increased its visibility and associativity in the space of media. The photographs of the intervention reproduced with agility in such a space and were used to criticize the intervention on some local newspapers, to expose the deterioration of the warehouse on others, and to fill up the feeds of numerous social media accounts. All these different readings decisively contributed to a public debate around the state of the building that eventually resonated in the political arena of the city, and the project that had been on hold since 2015 was finally undertaken in 2018.