Urban renovation in Zona Franca
Barcelona - 2011 - Description text
Towards the west of the mountain of Montjuïc, between the Mediterranean Sea, the Llobregat river and the main road access to the city from the south, there is a forgotten place, a large area in the shadow of the mountain detected as a place of opportunity for a city already finished.
Agricultural fabric coming from a recent past that has been transformed into large industrial areas mixed with small housing close to the limits of the mountain.
The urban potential is set, from City Council, with the implementation of the Fira 2: a business, conventions and congresses Center that places the city on the world map.
The project, rather than delete the existing and impose new rules, intends to work on the contradictions of the place (different scales, different uses, lack of public space and an uncertain future) understanding them as opportunities to create a new layer to the existing ones. A new layer that relates them and understands the place as the amount of its own history.
The new layer is conceived from the public space as an engine of the urban: the ability of the public space to be keystone in two movements, a centripetal –attraction and concentration- and a centrifugal one –projection and generation.
We propose a new type of public space: a suspended infrastructure that flies the area taking the mountain into the place. A path understood as an extension to the void/s that connects the area with the round of Montjuic maintaining a similar level.
This new road contains new facilities (public or private) that will connect the existing ones and those that are detected as potential: the buildings of the Fira (the 1929 and the new one), the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, the Jardí Botánic, the new office skyscrapers, the Cementiri de Montjuic, the Castell de Montjuic , the Teatre Grec, the Museu d’Arqueología, the Poble Espanyol….
The new public space-infrastructure will connect times: the old and the new Fira.
It will create shadows in the great empty places existing on the area tearing and dragging the green of Montjuic. A green that will remember the agricultural past using fruit trees to promote a participatory and dynamic public space rather than green understood as ornamental vegetation.
Finally, a public space that breaks the large scale of the place using the supporting elements, spaced and repeated, for create new places and connecting small existing ones relating them on larger scale, the neighborhood; and using a similar movement, connecting the area with the city.