THE GARDEN OF CULTURE
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Reactivation of a courtyard in the Eixample Cerdà of Barcelona
The rhythm of urban life, the excess of information, the culture of consumption, the light and noise pollution, the excess of advertising and other external factors overstimulate our senses, changing our conception of what surrounds us. Nowadays, it is difficult to find an evocative space for inspiration. We need more aesthetically pleasing spaces where the psychological and emotional neutrality allows us to be concentrated and inspired. These spaces would encourage us to meditate and to find oneself.
The purpose is to provide Barcelona a space with all these qualities, which are very scarce in a city. From the beginning, the project was located in the courtyards of the city blocks of Cerdà. These spaces have been abandoned by the citizens for a long time, but if they are used again as green spaces as originally planned they would contrast with the hustle and bustle of the streets.
For this project, a city block near the Clot neighborhood was chosen. In this area, the orthogonal urban layout of the plan of Cerdà is adapted to the old agricultural parceling, creating spaces with a lot of opportunities. The project extrudes the buildings of the perimeter of the courtyard, using the existence of both urban grids as a design tool.
The main objective is to make a garden where the buildings are diluted, trying to use as much space as possible as public spaces and green areas. Therefore, most of the elements of the cultural program (ateliers, library, exhibition hall, etc.) are located underground, leaving the entire ground floor as a large plaza. Some walkways between the trees enable direct access from the central plaza to the buildings that compose the perimeter of the plaza. These buildings have green roofs, emphasizing the feeling of being in a garden and not surrounded by buildings.