THE UPWARD SPIRAL: European Youth Entrepreneurship Center

THE UPWARD SPIRAL: European Youth Entrepreneurship Center

Project Location: Paseo de Castellana, Madrid, Spain
Project type: Academic Final Degree Project at IE University, Spain
Supervisors: Lina Toro, Fernando Rodriguez , Pablo Oriol,  and Manuel Perez Romero, Izaskun Chinchilla, Laura Martínez de Guereñu
Project Status: Submitted Spring 2015

The hybrid Museum/Education center addresses two of the main issues of this Spanish generation, namely ‘youth unemployment’ and the search for an ‘alternative sector of tourism’. The site location suggests a specialized approach towards its architecture, working towards a comprehensive solution that engages with the socio-economic conditions and challenges of its context within an ever changing European society.

The European Union and The European Council both maintain an agenda in the development of entrepreneurship and freelance-ship of European youth as an alternative and complementary solution for youth unemployment within the Euro-zone. The European Union’s Erasmus program includes ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs’ and the European Council maintains the ‘European Youth Foundation’ and The European Youth Centre’ both of which active citizenship via entrepreneurship is promoted.

The centre is designed for youth between the ages of 18-30. Typically youth that is still or recently graduated from university that are or were involved in educational travel organizations such AIESEC and Erasmus or Erasmus Mundus. The aim is inspire an alternative sector of tourism, educational tourism to develop  inter-European and international drive for youth entrepreneurship.

The project functions as a hybrid program of an idea incubator, i.e., a hub for business development, skill networking and investor haven for international entrepreneurial youth. This is complemented by a museum exhibiting the currently developing start-ups and the previously successful start-ups within the contextual views of the city, the business district to the north and the historical and cultural south of Madrid.

The Urban composition between phenomena, need and form defined at multiple scales provides the opportunity for innovative approach towards the architectural relationship between program, economy and the human experience. Through the architecture the opportunities are utilized and the challenges leveraged for the development of the buildings relevant character and identity.

‘The Upward Spiral: European Youth Entrepreneurship Centre’ responds to the socio-economic needs and activity of its context. Within its envelope it maintains a flexible nature, towards its context it becomes a positive icon, providing for its local community and attracting economic development and investment at a global scale for Spanish youth. Thus overcoming the challenges and leveraging benefits for the promotion of active citizenship through entrepreneurial youth initiatives.


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