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Plaza Street. Urban refurbishment in Barcelona’s Turó de la Rovira

bosch.capdeferro arquitectura | Ramon Bosch i Pagès, Elisabet Capdeferro i Pla

FAD Awards finalist 2018  City and landscape
Description Technical file

The Jury’s appraisal:The refurbishment of the street that leads to the summit of the Turó de la Rovira is a painstaking exercise in scale and resolving slopes. The intervention gives the public space a series of plazas that belong to the street as well as the houses. The terraced topography creates a series of ‘carpets’ between the road and the façades, while resolving the access level to all of the homes, and it reorganises the appropriation and informal use of the street that are typical of neighbourhood.
The Turó de la Rovira heights is one of the last bastions of the Coastal Range before the change in gradient that forms the plain of Barcelona. Lithologically it forms part of the Collserola massif.

This geological formation encompasses a series of hills between 180 and 260 metres above sea level, which emerge from the urban fabric and constitute one of its most extensive and extraordinary vantage points.

The summit on which the project is located has undergone several urban development phases that started in the early 20th century, with the construction of various summer houses for Barcelona’s wealthy families. During the Civil War, and owing to its strategic situation above the city, anti-aircraft batteries were built here, together with the corresponding military installations. After the war, the city received a strong influx of immigrants that favoured the emergence of a settlement of self-builds and shantytowns. Not until 2010 was the space recovered for communal use, through an intervention that brought to light the dense history of this place, including all of its strata.

In recent years, the city of Barcelona worked on the idea of reforming the connection between the area of the Turó de la Rovira and the urban grid, imagining new pedestrian itineraries that would link it to some of the city’s most significant urban landmarks, such as the Parc Güell, Sant Pau Hospital or the Sagrada Familia. This operation required an intervention to improve the accesses that lead to the vantage point of the old batteries, crossing the small inhabited nucleus of Marià Lavèrnia.

The project proposed to basically modify the topography. It also contemplated giving it the necessary vehicle access, which involved leading the traffic over a ramp, as well as creating small rest areas to generate new open-air activities, successive horizontal planes for the open appropriation of the public space by the people. These little havens of peace were staggered along the existing street, seeking to preserve and emphasise the domestic character that is and has been an intrinsic part of the history of this place.

The vegetation that has been planted will play an essential role in upcoming years in giving the space the necessary heat control and light that will allow open-air life to flourish.

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Localización Location: Banyoles, Girona, Spain. Autores Authors: bosch.capdeferro arquitectura | Ramon Bosch i Pagès, Elisabet Capdeferro i Pla, arquitectos. Redacción de proyecto Project drafting: Raül Elias Bramon, Arnau Arboix Sala, Agustín Cepeda. Colaboradores Collaborators: Lluís Guanter i Feixas, Blàzquez Guanter s.l.p. consultors d’estructures. Arquitecto Técnico Quantity surveyor: Mor arquitectura técnica s.l.p. Otros técnicos Other technicians: Enigest s.l. ingeniería. Promotor Developer: Ajuntament de Barcelona. Constructora General Contractor: Obres i Serveis Roig s.a. Superficie construida Built area: 5.227m². Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: 2016. Fotografía Photography: José Hevia.
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