Jury feedback summary
The second place proposal is successful in its interpretation of the local politics surrounding Cannabis use, combined with clever architectural language to communicate a clear concept that is both iconic and versatile. The proposal is strategically sited in the medical research park in Barcelona, Spain, adjacent to the beach, symbolically representing both the dichotomy of public perception surrounding medicinal and recreational Cannabis use. Formally, the project is composed of a square boundary wall made up of informational pamphlets delineating the public from private. This ephemeral boundary literally degrades and morphs as people consume information, slowly revealing the project’s interior. Beyond this ephemeral skin, the program is hosted in a series of rectilinear volumes loosely formed around a central courtyard open to the sky. This interior space, based on a simple column grid, is simultaneously intimate and social, both functional and mutable depending on the needs of a particular locale. Floating above this interior, the roof comprises the iconicity of the project: a flat horizontal datum laden and overflowing with plantings. The curvilinear contrast of the roof to the volumes beneath draws the eye to a recognizable silhouette and creates shaded public space.
Jury feedback summary
U-CAN places the Cannabis dispensary on roof additions typical in cities of Taiwan. Although illegal, these roof additions have traditionally been permitted by Taiwanese authorities and are commonly used as places of household ancestral worship as well as shared social space. By associating the Cannabis dispensary with this explicitly illegal yet implicitly condoned urban fabric, U-CAN acknowledges the political paradoxes of a substance that is simultaneously illicit and sanctioned, recognizing Cannabis as a cultural artifact rather than just a prohibited product.
U-CAN navigates these ambiguities spatially, embedding both the public and private spaces of a Cannabis dispensary into an unsanctioned urban fabric. The proposal envelopes the intimate program of private consultation rooms within the more public visitor and commerce areas. These private rooms are expressed as light chimneys on the roof, creating a public gathering space that reaffirms Cannabis use as a fundamentally social and spiritual transaction. The U-CAN proposal successfully plays these political and social ambiguities against one another through this collective inhabitation of the roof, a space that is unsanctioned, marginal, forbidden, and yet a fundamental part of a shared urban identity.