For the firm ACTAR Arquitectura, architecture is a form of artificial geography. Moving away from the oppositions of nature vs. artifice and local vs. global, Manuel Gausa has put in place the concept of the "operative landscape," in which the ground is transformed into an active field. He reconfigures the territory by means of map modeling and reliance on fractal geometry, which enable him to work on the connections of scale between the territory, architecture and the city. His projects seem to be placed within a dynamic of exchange and interference, in which he develops architecture that appropriates flows and impermanence interacting with the mutability of the city. For the Castellón housing complex (2001), ACTAR inserted "topographies of substitution" into the landscape. Encouraging the development of human relationships, their housing projects put into practice emerging strategies of appropriation and of plural and open architecture. In 1998, the M'House project presented the house to be a space with the potential to be personalized, configured depending on the composition of the family at a given moment in time. In the same vein, Paraloop is a flexible and temporary dwelling system. Here it is no longer a question of proposing modules but rather of offering activity-based units. With this genuine "à la carte"/ tailor made / made-to-measure space, the notion of housing disappears. An environment rather than an object, ACTAR sees Paraloop as a "landscape of landscapes."
Created in Barcelona in 1994 by Manuel Gausa Navarro (1959), Oleguer Gelpi (1964), Ignasi Pérez Arnal (1965), Marc Aureli Santos (1960) and Florence Raveau (1965), the Spanish firm ACTAR Arquitectura has since been renamed Gausa+Raveau actarquitectura, and has been under the sole management of Manuel Gausa and Florence Raveau since 2004. A combination of the terms ACTivity and ARchitecture, Actar aims to act as a center point for the convergence, articulation and radical exploration of multiple activities: teaching, publishing (Actar Publishers), exhibitions (festival METAPOLIS for Advanced Cities, 1998-2000), architectural and urban projects (Sociopolis), etc.