REDEFINING BARCELONA 5
Louis Kahn: The city is the place where a child learns,
Or can learn……………… what he wants to be.
The cities should be understood as a continuous changing process, as an overlapping of layers reflecting the spirit of it time. This constant reconstruction always leaves footprints in the territory suitable for a reinterpretation.
Barcelona, the most beautiful city in the Mediterranean Sea is a perfect example of that I above said, because his long and complex history.
Barcelona is a vital and dynamic city and with an interesting urban history, actually made by successive strokes of genius with an indisputable ultimate success that was always due to a strong commitment between civil society and public administration.
Barcelona in landscape terms is a bounded city, two rivers, a mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea. In between, a gentle slope plan towards the sea allowed it the foundation of the city and it growing up. The rivers Llobregat and Besòs supply it with water and the combination of the coastal mountains and the Mediterranean Sea provide its wonderful climate.
As there are some cities that assume their form through their monuments; others by their landscape, there are others, such Barcelona, where landscape and architecture have been the object of reflection, doing of the urban weave (tissue) a conscious project in human scale, and at best a masterpiece.
Barcelona is a privileged city, which brings together architecture, landscape and an ancient urban culture full of successes and innovations.
Three successive rings of walls enclosed Barcelona as a patron of the city outskirts until the nineteenth century drawing precise perimeters and with its gates and towers guide lining the future form of the city outside the walls.
Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, around ancient parishes three new urban nuclei laid out on the Barcelona plain. Barceloneta (1753), Gracia (1718) and Poble Nou designed following the Baroque model, it means a four-sized plaza amid the regular and rectangular grid of blocks.
During the industrial revolution of the 19th century, Poblenou was the epicenter of Catalan and Iberian industry, earning it its sobriquet of the Catalan Manchester. Surrounding the extensive cluster of factories stood mostly working class residential areas. When the industrial buzz passed, the neighborhood fell into a state of abandon and after a period of decay, the neighborhood has undergone a dramatic transformation. The Olympic Games in 1992 were the main trigger for this massive transformation of El Poblenou. Many of the areas that have been develop — including the Vila Olímpica, the Diagonal Mar area, and the Fòrum area — arguably comprise their own neighborhoods. Completing its original, unfinished plan, The Avinguda Diagonal now stretches from Plaça de les Glòries to the sea.
The Master Plan 22@ sets to convert Poblenou into the city's technological and innovation district, as well as to increase leisure and residential spaces.
Alongside the newly built, upscale Vila Olímpica and Diagonal Mar areas, many artists and young professionals have converted the former factories and warehouses into lofts, galleries, and shops. Art & Design schools and studios have also opened, making the area known for its creative outlook. The leafy Rambla de Poblenou, which stretches from Avinguda Diagonal to the beach, is the main commercial street.
The industrial past of the neighborhood bequeathed numerous factories that were abandon and later recovered for different uses, such as lofts, studios and as headquarters of different entities. It shares homes built during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, centered on the traditional core of the neighborhood (around the Rambla of the same name). The last few years is being remodel intensely, with the construction of modern buildings and the rehabilitation of some of them.
Among the best-known buildings and urban projects on the long list are the Torre Agbar (Jean Nouvel), Forum Building (Herzog & de Meuron ), ME Barcelona Hotel (Dominique Perrault), Offices Diagonal 197 (David Chipperfield), the Mediapro Corporation (OAB-Carles Ferrater), the Media-Tic Building (Enric Ruiz Geli - CLOUD 9),the Museum Can Framis (studio BAAS architects). Major public spaces as the Park of Diagonal Mar (Enric Miralles), the Central Park (Jean Nouvel), the beachfront Park del Poblenou, the vast Park del Forum, the historic Poblenou Cemetery as well as many kilometers of beaches.
The globalization of the economy and culture open, inevitably, interesting debate forums about the growing loss of identity and character in urban areas.
It seems inevitable; therefore, consider a changing of the tack in urban design and planning.
This new sensitivity placer the “Urban Cycle” in the center of the interests of the architects “Think globally, act locally”.
Understanding the Public space, green areas, public/cultural facilities, ecology and sustainability in close relation with the architecture of the city. The challenge of the contemporary architecture is how integrate them in the city.
The main goal is an attempt to interpret “the site” with a spatial point of view, so focusing urban and architectonic impacts on city landscape. In continuity with the topics of research and teaching, the desire is to analyze in a contemporary way the topic of city landscape as a place of overlapping of architecture and environment, of city and society, of culture and tradition, not an idealized landscape, but dynamic and variable.
Therefore, the architectural project which will be develop during the semester has got the purpose of proposing renovated and reinterpreted places, strongly anchored to the historical and social values in Barcelona, center of one of the richest cultural and architectonics cities in Europe.
The city is observe no more in a contemplative and comforting way, as it used to be in the past, but through a new point of view, which reads the side as an active and precious space capable of modifying, transforming and re-activating entire urban and territorial setting, today obsolete, abandoned or under-used.
The urban design then involves the temporal dynamics as an instrument of the design itself, different temporalities meet in the building of a growing process, open to following transformations implying the combination of different speeds and scales, next to a long lasting idea there is one of transitory temporality.
The 2017/18 Design of public spaces and infrastructures is about the urban and architectural design of Barcelona 22@ district. Explore the city of Barcelona as an indicator, a witness, a sample of what it means at a particular in urban-planning thinking.
We build over what is already built. Constructing overlapping the constructed always provides clues, permits contrasts to be established and make it possible to testify to the value of what one thinks, which hardly happen when the work can be produce autonomously and independently.
What is decisive is not how beautiful a new public space has become, but whether it can tell a story that can contribute to the identity of the site.
The Barcelona 22 @ Plan is transforming 200 industrial Ha. of the center of Barcelona into an innovative productive district destined to the concentration and the development of intensive knowledge activities.
As a project for urban renewal, it responds to the need to recycle the obsolete industrial fabric of Poblenou, creating a compact, diverse and balanced environment, in which productive spaces coexist with housing, equipment and green areas.
As a project for economic renewal, it constitutes a unique opportunity to transform Poblenou into an important scientific, technological and cultural platform that will make Barcelona one of the most dynamic and innovative cities in the international arena.
As a social revitalization project, fostering the interrelation between the different professionals working in the area and promotes and supports innovative projects that foster collaboration between companies, institutions, neighbors and social, educational and cultural entities.
As a new model of making city, the function of the old industrial fabrics is reinterpreted in a current key, through a transformation that will be progressive in time - about 20 years - adapted to the preexistences and the new needs. The proposals must be derived from the situation of origin, maintaining the streets, traces and historical elements as support of the new ordinations. The final image is the result of the balance between what is maintained, what is transformed and what is replaced.
Plan 22 @ surpasses the low density and bets on a dense and complex urban space, allowing a more efficient use of the soil, while contributing to the interaction and information exchange between various urban agents to generate the critical mass necessary to develop economies of agglomeration.
It is committed to a high quality, compact, diverse, mixed and sustainable urban model, so that the resulting city is more balanced, hybrid, ecologically more efficient, economic and more cohesive.
Thus, productive activities coexist with research centers, continuous training and technology transfer, housing and commerce, in an environment of high quality, which makes density compatible with a balanced endowment of free spaces and equipment.
The aim is to design a net of new centralities between large public spaces
1- Clusters: Creation of clusters in different areas of knowledge in which Barcelona can achieve international leadership, through the concentration in the territory of companies, public bodies and scientific and technological centers of reference in sectors considered strategic:
- Technology of the information and communicationTIC
- Technological and Business Campus of Barcelona TEC,
- Branding retail,
2- Social, cultural, educational and sporting entities
3- Multimedia classrooms, community centres, and centres for the elderly
4- University, Professional and MBA training centre
5- Housing, hotels and residences
The aim of the Sociology of Environment module is providing some tehoretical and methodological tool in order to analyze the district through a sociological look. Changing functions in fact means also changing meanings and playing with the identy or identities of a site.
Several sociological concepts can be useful in understanding how trasforming without spoiling the original identity of the site mantainig or losing connections with the rest of the city. The objective is in fact providing students with a new awareness with reference to the social aspect involved in planning, so that the popolation can benefit from the project instead of being excluded. At the same time, the site needs to be connected to the sourrounding areas and the Whole city in order to contain the risk of social isolation, becoming a kind of gated community, accesible to a partial part of the population. Students will be invited to take into consideration aspects that are usually neglected such as population composition, lifestyle, identities and meaning atteched to the site, uses, behaviors, values that are conveyed by the site. They will be equipped with ethnographic tools and some qualitative methods such as interviews and visual instruments.
On the other hand, the aim of the Agronomy and Food Sciences module is providing tools in order to support the design choices that concern:
- the analisys of the relations between the new public spaces and the urban green system;
- criteria for innovative design of urban green spaces (resilience and ecosystem service concepts);
- some basic agronomic notions useful for the use of vegetation as architectural material.
Through lectures of skilled guests will be provided some suggestions for the workshop by the green economy and circular economy (economic activities linked to urban crops); particular attention will be given to the opportunity to produce urban food (edible vegetables) both for resident and for the neighborhood needs.
Students will be invited to integrate the criteria and concepts learned into their project.