Pleamar Project


Art Sense_Coru├▒a
Sens Arts Week Festival
01-02 June

Orzán Beach, A Coruña.

Latitude: 43┬║ 22′ 15,8” N
Lenght: 8┬║ 24′ 17,8” W

Sistema Lupo

Ferm├şn Gonz├ílez Blanco

Ferm├şn Gonz├ílez Blanco
David Rodr├şguez Antu├▒a
Jose Rebollo Porto
Luis Fernández López
Miriam Ron
Paula Morales Pereira
V├şctor GG Echave
Alba P├ęrez Fern├índez

A Coru├▒a City Council
Department of the Environment
Luis Seoane Foundation

0 euros



Memory & Photographies
Pleamar Project is an intervention that frames in the week Sens Art Week that took place in Coru├▒a the last week of May of 2018. With headquarters in the Luis Seoane Foundatiom, the meeting focused on artistic educationand and met specialists in this field , with conferences, workshops and performances in the public space,

The Orzán beach was proposed as a space to intervene from an artistic and educational point of view. The collective of professionals included under the umbrella of Sistema Lupo is in charge of proposing this action. As usual in the collective, an action is promoted that starts from the architecture to generate a reflection that in this case has to do with childhood, public space, security or participation.

Proposed action
The action was based on an ephemeral construction, a new playful topography, made simply with the sand of the beach and taking advantage of the high tide to flood the spaces and create islands and lakes. A hydraulic work like the ones that children usually perform in the proximity of the high tide but brutally increased. Through the movement of masses of sand you will obtain a system of mountain ranges, islands, pools, canals and tunnels.

This strategy is proposed in an area close to the limit with the water based on the expected tide data and then study the work of the tides in our intervention according to the time of day.

A matter of scale
The uniqueness of the intervention lies in the scale of it, it is intended to expand this action by multiplying multiplying by 100. It is posed in this way mountains of 4 meters, chasms of 1 meter and the movement of several tons of sand.


Storms adaptation
The proposed site for the intervention is the Orzán beach in A Coruña. Together with Riazor beach and Matadero beach, they together form the largest urban beach in the city.

At the end of the nineties A Coruña began to protect itself against the winter storms by collecting sand in Riazor and Orzán, creating a kind of artificial dunes that served as walls where the waves crashed, which did not reach the streets.

In 2010, after the last contributions of aggregates, decided to stop putting the dune. As far as the sea, it ended up entering the city causing significant damage. The latest estimate figures in a million euros the damage.

The dunes act as protection barriers against large storms, such as those that are suffered especially in winter. They dissipate wave energy thanks to their movement dynamics. Therefore, they are necessary elements to guarantee the stability of the beach and for the protection of the coast.

With that premise, every year the machines are taken to the beach and create walls of sand with several meters of height at the most sensitive points, which involves the movement of many tons of sand along the beaches to form the protective dune of 23,000 cubic meters of sand and 360 meters long.

Arrival of summer
Until the arrival of the bathing season (approximately June 15) the municipal workers are in charge of the cleaning and conditioning the urban beaches, so that approximately between the last week of May and the first fortnight of June, proceeds to undo the protection dune, in summer there are usually no storms, or at least, these are not as strong as in winter.

To do this, the bulldozers return to the beaches in order to undo the dunes that have protected the seafront since the autumn and finally smooth the beach, avoiding steps so pronounced, and thus, form a safer area for bathers. Work in which the machines will move about 80,000 cubic meters of sand.


Educational reflection
The intervention is based on codes easily identifiable by children. The construction of castles, barriers or hydraulic devices is a constant on the beaches. The sand is didactic material and although its presence is being progressively reduced in parks and gardens, on the beach it is still the main protagonist.

Their interventions usually create a playground that coincides with the water spot that increases the compactness, especially coinciding with the descent of the tide. It is the hybrid area where team sports are also played or the line where you walk along the beach … This active world is a complement to what happens in dry sand, where towels are distributed welcoming those who they enjoy the sun, or the tranquility of the environment while they read a book or listen music. All that and much more happens in a few meters, a domesticated but natural territory. A limit between the built and artificial city and the coastline, aggressive and dangerous as we well know in this city.

The variation of the tides on the Atlantic coast means that this dry-wet distribution is in constant evolution generating a movement that accompanies the movement of the bathers following the movement of the sun. It is a picture that is not understood without movement, without the process.

Hands and machines to work

The collaboration of the machines
On the afternoon of June 1, the workers and technicians of the City Council, in charge of handling the machines of flattening of the beaches, collaborated in the movement of several cubic meters of sand necessary for the performance.

The area for action was delimited and cordoned off, keeping the area closed for the safety of the beach users. Thus taking advantage of the mountains of sand already generated for the winter, they moved to other strategic points already planned. So they were generating a series of piles that began to be our ‘mountain system’.

Performance day
On June 2, the members of Sistema Lupo worked together with the beach cleaning and maintenance service to finalize details that take advantage of the low tide before the topographies are created before the start of the activity with the families.

Children’s performance
The construction was planned in one morning long, where children and their parents, would finish setting up their playground. A process in which they finished creating the canals, shaped their islands and mountains, created tunnels and wells and even built a spa area and pools.

More than a hundred coordinated and free participants shaped an urban space prepared for the enjoyment of everyone who approaches the beach.

The game time
When the work was finished, the playful process of enjoyment the work is opened, the characteristics and disposition of the new game element endured several changes of tide which allowed to see the development of the work in its fight against the sea and its greater or lower acceptance by beach users.

It was an action with ellipses because it is not possible to predict the behavior of the work constructed in its relationship with the high tide.

The Pleamar
As the day went on, everything surrounding our play area was also changing. This is due in large part to the tides.

In that process in which the sea worked at its high tide the new element implanted there, it was changing, turning the mountains into islands, the channels into rivers, the wells into large pools and so on. For this reason, the game element was transformed and generated a variety of new forms and different activities around it.

The destruction
What we did know before finishing this performance, was its end, that is, the smooth sand again after having been worked by the sea.

Like the teacher’s blackboard, the lesson disappears, the chalk will be cleaned and we will return to the black / white chalkboard again.

That is the magic of education and construction in the sand, once again the process defeats the final product.

The sea always wins.