A smart new home for a project aiming at re-evaluating the rural world, combining small-scale social innovation projects for the local community with events of international profile.
An astonishing building of the kind we are no longer used to, that sums up some of the best possible architectural qualities – grandeur and vivacity; capacity to inspire and convey meaning – in a space of unusual natural intimacy perfiorming amazing environmental efficiency.
It is difficult to imagine something more appropriate than this massive but discreet flagship leaning on the Condado hills, to host the ambitious social innovation project of the Cerezales Antonino y Cinia Foundation (FCAYC).
Designed by Alejandro Zaera-Polo + Maider Llaguno, (AZPMI) the new FCAYC headquarters in Cerezales, located in the center of a rural area near León, northern Spain, with a population of about 84, the facility was inaugurated last April. The event was the result of a slow process started in 2011, based on an unprecedented combination of the capacity to understand and interpret local identity, promoting it at top international level.
This is the mission, and to some extent, the true winning formula envisioned by the foundation’s founder, Antonino Fernández, who many years ago had to leave from the Condado area to seek fortune in Mexico. After finding it as an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur in the brewery industry, Antonino, who recently passed away, did not forget his homeland, and conceived, through the foundation that carries his and his wife’s names an articulated program to counteract the processes of depopulation in rural areas.
In this direction, since its beginning, the foundation has generated more than 600 exhibits, concerts, art-in-residence projects, festivals, social excursions and workshops. Jazz concerts and puppet shows coexist with Condado territory-related activities such as the rediscovery of local herbs and of traditional techniques for building country hedges.
In the didactic classrooms of the Fundación you can use your hands to produce baskets (ideal for collecting mushrooms in local woods) or experiment with 3D printing to create ABS molds to produce local cheeses.
With great wisdom, patience and generosity, the Fundación Cerezales has been so far able to aggregate a multiform community that, beginning from the local population of Condado, has grown to embrace an abundance of profiles and know-hows, encompassing internationally acclaimed artists.
On the new venue’s inauguration ceremony, the image of Romero, Rogante and Bonita – three splendid bovine specimens of a local breed that the foundation aims to preserve - grazing in front of the spectacular panoramic glass facades of the natural larch welcoming barn-like building, effectively synthesizes the two main lines of the social innovation project underlying the foundation's activity: cultural production and ethnological education, safeguarding the rural world without nostalgia or paternalism, on the track of a strong collaborative spirit with an international perspective.
An Architect by training, Alfredo has been teaching in our Department form the start of our Design program, and has a wide design teaching experience at an international level. A professional and consultant in the area of web and interaction design, Alfredo has played da key role in all our main recent projects, such as the Informanimation Erasmus IP and the 2CO Communicating Complexity International Design Conference.