PUBLIC SQUARE AND CAR PARK: BADALONA
Escaping from the past and building a future that aspires to forgetfulness is not something that can be easily done. Reorganising the way in which coexistence takes place in a neighbourhood by way of an intervention in the urban landscape is more complicated still, and this challenge takes on even greater complexity when the instrument proposed to achieve it is a two-level, 6,690 m2 underground car park that must occupy the complete surface of a gap in the urban fabric to be filled by a public space/square with a surface area of 5,575 m2.
The setting for this project is a square; built in the 60’s, occupying a space that was previously the site of a historic local factory. The original square, however, was badly structured and uncongenial, with a layout that did not encourage people to take full advantage of it and which had become a space that was little more than residual and prejudicial to the cohesion of the neighbourhood.
This intervention proposed a consideration of the car park and the square as a single unit, integrating the one into the other, blurring the distinctions between them, and simultaneously allowing them, figuratively speaking, to breathe in their coexistence in the form of a square that was designed more as a gardened roof than as a fragment of an urban green zone.
It has been possible to achieve this sensation through the design of a space that is organic and yet, at the same time, is endowed with an intimate character, that can be broken down for and by usage while offering a unique and overall understanding.
The design of the parterres, based on as system of lightweight coffering, has allowed for the layout of extensive green areas, elements that are difficult to locate above a car park, and which confer on the square an original atmosphere that is notably more agreeable than the typical local paved squares.
Different areas and spaces have been created and distributed around the overall site, laid out as if they were rooms in which the local people can engage in their activities as they best see fit. The elimination of the old square, which served as a kind of barrier, has given rise to a permeable square that is expected, as time go by, to corroborate its determination to act as a cohesive element.