Camino del Agua (Path of the Water)
“Las Portes de Collserola” Competition
Antoni Gaudí taught us that nature and spirituality are intrinsic realities, model ideals of all organized thinking, such as architecture and urbanism. Now, in a post-industrial situation, we need to build a sustainable world that recovers this knowledge, taking advantage of all the advances of new technologies. The neighborhood of the Ciudad Meridiana, built in the mid-1960s, is the paradigm of a historical moment in which the expansion of the city often forgot its primary objective: people and their natural environment, preventing a natural flow of life.
Ex memoria spes: from the memory, hope. We need to recover the simple but all-consuming wisdom of nature, to turn this unhealthy neighborhood into an eco-hub, a point of connection between man’s space and the surrounding Collserola Park, reestablishing the spirituality that goes beyond religion.
With that objective, we have focused on the nature of water. Water is life only when it follows its own path. Stagnant or poorly-channeled, it destroys everything around it. The Ciudad Meridiana neighborhood is, then, a living entity despite its sclerosis. To heal it, we have conceived a bypass based on several concepts: the consolidation of the new border of the Natural Park, from the entrance marked by the aqueducts – substituting unhealthy buildings for parkland – the unblocking of the water’s path to the Besos river – through accesses that preserve constructed obstacles – and the connection with the Vallbona eco-neighborhood, natural destination of this cycle. In this way, Collserola Park will generate, behind the water, its own greenbelt.
On the other hand, we have delineated three geographic and conceptual areas that will feed off one another: a symbiotic space where Collserola park dialogues with people through spaces for meditation, information and crop-monitoring; An energetic space open for the practice of sports and available for generating renewable energy; and a third nutritional space, with urban gardens and a senior center, in the Vallbona eco-neighborhood.
Levels of intervention
Prioritizing an order of interventions that allows for the progressive sustainability of the project: beginning with the expansion of the Natural Park and the North Slope, the creation of a bypass for water and vegetation, and the construction of a series of fundamental facilities.
Deconstruction of the Ciudad Meridiana neighborhood through the decongestion of the unhealthiest areas and redistribution of the population to more habitable areas and the new Vallbona eco-neighborhood.
Water and Vegetation
Extensions of the water’s path to the Besos River, through the restoration of the natural current. The North Slope, accumulator of humidity and endemic vegetation, feeds the South slope, turning it into productive soil suitable for permaculture and an “edible forest”.