Student works on Canary-Islands

We do not want to examine abstract phenomena, rather to cover extensively the urbanisation of the islands with our studies. As in the Swiss study, a series of “drills” –analyses of locales that can reveal larger emerging phenomena– will try to outline the transformation processes that are forcing on the islands.

Places for tourists - tourist cities
What is the status of the touristic areas? Is there a public space? How is the relation to the landscape? How do the tourists move? Are they confined to the Tourist areas? How did the tourism architecture develop from the simple hotel box to the simulation-paradise of today's hotel resorts?
Cesar Manrique developed his own architectural style, which was assumed as "native" in the 60's on Lanzarote. What are its basic elements? What remains today of it? What can we learn of it? Does a basically different attitude reside in it? Or is it a special variation of simulation architecture? Lanzarote is shaped still today from this “Manrique style”, which causes a more homogeneous landscape than on all other islands. Which architecture model is more successful: the homogeneous, allegedly local Manrique-model or the heterogeneous, non-uniform model of Tenerife and Gran Canaria?

Places for tourism workers - support cities?
As a consequence to the rapid growth of the touristic resorts, a vast urban area which houses the workers of the touritic sector has developed. These massive developments are inhabited by waiters, cooks, hotel employees, maintenance teams, cleaning workers, drivers etc. (statistics show a one-to one ratio of tourist beds and employees). How do such cities develop? Who designs them? Who builds them? According to which rules? Who inhabits them? Is there a high percentage of African immigrants? How do people live there? Which developments are recognizable? Are spatial-social gradations also visible in these new developments, as they are between the coastal towns and villages of the upper settlements, where there are remains of the agricultural activities?

Places for the local population – local cities?
The two capital cities, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz, are spatially, socially and economically complex cities that historically grew like other Spanish cities. They do not directly depend on tourism. Nevertheless, they both undertook in the last years large efforts in order to bring their technical and cultural infrastructure on an international level. These considerable efforts are to be seen in connection with the unique Spanish thrust toward urban renewal. An important exhibition on this theme will be developed by the MoMA in NYC next February.
Where does the local population live outside of the capitals? Who settles in the north of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, where the weather for European tourists is too unstable and former tourism centers are struggling with an upcoming crisis as in Puerto de la Cruz? How are these "other" tourist places built, with no sand beaches, but cliffs and Charcos?

The topics are:
Tenerife North
Santa Cruz de Tenerife – La Laguna
Gran Canaria North with Las Palmas
El Fraile - Las Galletas - Vilaflor
Mogan - Playa de Mogan
Costa Adeje
Maspalomas 1
Maspalomas 2