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banana garden by fernando menis takes over former oil tank in spain

banana garden by fernando menis takes over former oil tank in spain
Written by MAGASIR

a green oasis of banana trees by Menis Arquitectos

Conceived by Menis Arquitectos, a new banana tree garden adorns the El Tanque Cultural Space, a former oil tank in the canary islands. The green oasis recalls the agricultural history of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where Spain’s first refinery was built. In 1995, the Councilor for Culture and Historical Heritage of Tenerife island’s government, Mrs. Dulce Xerach Pérez, promoted the idea of ​​keeping one of it large containers. The architect Fernando Menis undertook the rehabilitation of El Tanque into a cultural space, which was listed as a protected cultural heritage in 2014. This year El Tanque celebrates its 25 years of existence with an ecological landscape designcreated by the same architect.

This verdant project provides the Cabo Llanos neighborhood with its first green public space. The new banana trees garden, also featuring other Canary species, reflects the local agricultural landscape prior to industrialization, generating a place where different eras, cultures, and ies the region’s identity coexist. Meanwhile, the design team Created lighting and furniture elements made with waste materials, such as old diving bottles recycled and modified for new use.

new banana garden by fernando menis takes over former oil tank in the canary islandsall images by ©Simona Rota, unless stated otherwise

Exuberant subtropical vegetation celebrates El Tanque

The architects marked the perimeter of El Tanque with the vivacious subtropical vegetation in an attempt of recalling the agricultural activity that once existed in this area. Coinciding its 25th anniversary, the Association Amigos del Tanque promoted the creation of a garden that would occupy its, recuperating A trace of its industrial past as well as a memory of its agricultural history, which disappeared from the city at the beginning of the 20th century.

Measuring 50 meters in diameter and almost 20 meters high, the El Tanque Cultural Space takes shape as a huge container that served for many years for the refining and storage of crude oil. After its renovation into a cultural space, it mainly retained its original original and interior appearance, with minimal architectural intervention by recycling and incorporating scrap materials.

‘The new banana garden of the El Tanque Cultural Space, whose designer is Fernando Martín Menis, was born from many ideas shared with the Association Amigos del Tanque, of which the architect is a member, and from some integrants of the team who organizes the KEROXEN festival, but above all it is the result of a continued love for that part of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife that a few citizens have spent years committed to preserving and defending’, states Dulce Xerach, a lawyer and president of the Association Amigos del Tanque.

new banana garden by fernando menis takes over former oil tank in the canary islands
the trees allow residents to enjoy a green environment while waiting for the rest of the vegetation to grow

Fernando Menis’s landscape design introduces a green oasis with high biodiversity in a neighborhood that completely lacks public green areas. For this scheme, more than 700 trees have been planted, including cypresses, flamboyants, Roystonea Depbrushams, Rebrush palms, Monster , as well as areas with aromatic plants. However, as a tribute to the old banana plantations that inhabited the site once, the main tree found in the area is Musa Paradisiaca. This type of tree grows speedy and can reach up to seven meters high , while it blooms over summer, and needs sun orientation.

‘Our research work has confirmed that this area was agricultural and was full of banana and tomato farms, as well as coast plants such as tabaibas, cardones, verodes, etc., all of them native plants of the Canary Islands, which require little watering , are resilient and durable. By looking back into the agricultural history of Santa Cruz, which had disappeared in all its coastal areas, the area around El Tanque has been planted with banana trees of the Musa paradisiaca species, while the tomatoes have simply come out , since there must have been vines over 90 years old, incredible survivors of an entire industrial era, which, after having prepared the land and with some watering, have grown again because the earth, the soil, has got memory, although sometimes we forget it’, explains Fernando Menis.new banana garden by fernando menis takes over former oil tank in the canary islandsimage by ©Hisao Suzuki | banana trees mark the perimeter of the historic wall of the reservoir

Following the same logic of reuse and recycling, Menis Arquitectos designed the lighting and furniture with waste elements. Thus, divers’ oxygen bottles are converted and modeled into lamps exuding a playful attitude as they resemble the figures from the Minions of cartoon. After all, The main users of the garden are children. The design also follows a conscious strategy in terms of light pollution, as well as the watering of the greenery, which is supplied with recycled water.

‘In short, it is an action with multiple implications since we have got now an accessible plaza, which is also a new green public space, a first one in the Cabo Llanos neighborhood, the agricultural history of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is evoked and, at the same time, biodiversity is recovered. It is an action that can be an example to ecologically recover other spaces in the city and on the island’, emphasizes Dulce Xerach, a lawyer and president of the Association Los Amigos del Tanque.

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