paisajes de la memoria

The natural space of the Llobregat Delta has undergone many transformations throughout history and has been reduced by the expansion of the strong industrial landscape that surrounds it. The area remains the last stronghold where nature and the traditional work of the land resist the expansive and devouring character of industry and logistics. “Memories of a Landscape” proposes there, a path based on a 19th century ruin and its rich natural environment, now in process of disappearing little by little. 

Thought as a fusion of three time spans, the path reveals the traces of the past in the territory that have been erased, linking the visitor by the present intervention with the landscape and it’s unique character through a sensorial and revealing experience in communion with nature.

Finally, it opens a debate on the future of natural spaces and the consequences of a system obsessed with productivity, effectivity, technology and consumerism that forgets where we come from, altering the balance of the planet. 

Designed with materials that totally respect the environment and accompanied by water as the main source of life, the path is divided into four different parts that refer to a specific past event of the point where they are located. 

The intervention provides the place with new life through a completely sustainable intervention and reveals the opportunities that neglected territories can offer by becoming experiences and bringing more green areas to cities. 

It aims to make a statement and raise awareness about natural threatened territories that are crucial for a balanced ecosystem and to maintain their natural regulation. It also aims to fight for the preservation of unique territories where to be in contact with our rural heritage and  nature in its major exposure. Being a witness of the transformations that the landscape of the area has suffered along time and that still remain nowadays, this project acquires a critical character. Reflecting on the footprint that human beings leave on the planet as we exist, we should all be aware about how threatened is this unique natural area and how important is to work on a more sustainable approach where we understand the landscape and what it tells us. 

ELISAVA Ei! AWARD to the best final degree project in space design

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Part 1: Recovering abandoned fields

The first part of the itinerary, recovers and combines in abandoned territories the wild vegetation with the traditional cultivation of El Prat.

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Areas covered with wattle for resting along the walkway.

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Beggining of the walkway through abandoned crops.

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Trace of the walkway based on the shape of the 1956 crops.

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Recovering traditional crops as a tribute to El Prat.

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Walkway model and representation of the abandoned crops.

Part 2: The ruin

The main contribution in this section is the water, which runs through spaces and slopes and creates new ones. It rehydrates the dead and arid ruin and turns the visit into a much more sensorial and pleasant experience.

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Entrance to the ruin. The channel becomes a furrow in the floor.

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Symbolic representation of the old volumes with iron sticks.

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Resting areas covered with wattle.

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Recreation of the roof with wattle.

The sound follows us along the route, refilling the old sink and creating a wide pool that crosses from side to side the courtyard of the ruin.

The second intervention has been to recreate the volumes of the old living spaces with iron rods. 

Finally, some parts of the roofs are reconstructed using again the wattle as a traditional construction element of the environment. These covered areas enhance the existing dynamic effects of light and shadow and at the same time it cools the visit in the hottest months. 

Water furrow that goes through the old tank and the stairs until the sink.

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Section of the ruin. Entrance from the first part (left), exit to the third part (right). The water fills the sink and falls towards the new pond.

Part 3: Footprints

This section recovers the traces of the old workers, recalling their long and repetitive surveillance rounds along the beach. After having crossed the ruin understood as an architectural element in decomposition, the line of the route, rests on the sand and breaks into terracotta steps of different sizes that together form a path. After walking along the beach, it crosses a water channel. In this route the visitor feels the sand and the water closer, remembering this link that the workers had with the beach and the sea.

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Footprint steps reaching the 4th part, towards the industrial area.

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Footprint steps along the beach.

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Part 3 crossing el Canal de la Bunyola.

Part 4: Raising awareness

Finally, the route leads us to a last high fence that acts as a viewpoint overlooking the Zona Franca. After having passed through the other parts of the route, which represent the past of the place and in some way honor it, the final part raises questions about a future that urgently needs to be answered from a clear environmental commitment.

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Fences become higher as they get closer to the industrial area.

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Final fence and structure. Inspired in the park's birdwatching points.

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Areas of resting and vegetation between the fences.

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Final fence; views to the industrial area (Zona Franca).

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The fences increase as we approach the Zona Franca as fragile defensive walls. It generates a walk that somehow reminds us of a labyrinth that subtly guides us towards the end of the route. The visitor, walks freely between the fences, finds areas enabled for rest with benches and vegetation.

The distribution of the fences gets more chaotic as it gets closer to the ZF.

Materiality

The materialization of the project has completely determined the character of the path and contributes to the crucial sustainable aspect of it. The design of the intervention exclusively uses environmentally friendly materials that have always been commonly used in the area, such as wood, iron rods, reeds, sandstone and terracota. 

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Model

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