3rd Prize · Superilles competition, Barcelona
With Robert de Paauw & Javier Morera.
At the intersection of C/ Borrell and C/ Consell de Cent, there is almost everything we need to envision a new public space. But it is hidden under the asphalt.
The proposal, like an archaeological excavation in the Eixample Cerdà, begins with the excavation of the surface to discover the old cobblestones, the natural substrate, the water, and the roots. Let’s give them a new chance.
The geometry of the grid comes from two main guidelines: (1) the horizontal of the topography, the “Mediterrani” building or the green axis of Consell de Cent; and (2) the 45º diagonal that follows the chamfers and, consequently, the East-West / North-South orientation. It is a stave, therefore, that aims to grasp the forceful subtlety of the geography and form of the Cerdà model.
The new rhomboid geometry adopts multiple sizes and configurations, thus allowing a response to both the large and airy scale of the Eixample and to the generation of close and intimate environments. The square is understood as a unit but also as a set of particular specificities. From a crossroads to a corner, a new urban place to be.
The excavation of the asphalt is the occasion to make the new square porous and turn it into a real IMPLUVIUM, where the water reaches, is filtered, purified and slowly infiltrated into the ground. When the rain comes, the water can gradually fill each of the tiles of the mosaic, pouring from one to the other until it becomes the main reason for the uses and their character. The square as an IMPLUVIUM where everything comes together.