architect_ Miquel Arias Costa and Guillem Canudas Gorgas
location_ Barberà del Vallès, Spain
project year_ 2018
type_ Master thesis
tutor_ Roger Tudó
from the architects_
FROM WEST TO EAST
The train station neighbourhood’s transformation
El Vallès area is quite a fragmented, divided and disconnected one. The large-scale metropolitan infrastructure projects that came along with the modernization, have overrun and changed the landscape and affected its population. At the same time that they connect the territory thanks to the road system and the train, they also block and break the urban continuity not only within the city itself, but also with its surroundings. Paths, streets and walkways that used to be very much used by the people in the past, nowadays have been invaded and no longer available for them.
This project’s goal is, precisely to turn some of these barrier-elements into the hinge that will allow people to be in touch with each other, and to be a bonding element, instead of a splitter one. We come across a urban territory stitching process, which will be used to restore those lost urban continuities, and to have the once existing pedestrian itineraries, working in different scales: from the pedestrian scale, to the urban and metropolitan scale.
Barberà del Vallès is not an exception of this problem. It has a urban area with a lineal center which connects the city center with the train station. This lineal center is a fragmented and divided one, but it has a great potential. This axis has to overcome several barrier-elements which cross the city from north to south. It has to take action in the perpendicular direction: from west to east. In doing so, it will sew the urban area, restoring connections and recovering the city center to give it back to the people, bikes, and slow circulation. What the project seeks is, furthermore, this connection to be an intramunicipal instead of a supremunicipal one, and grasp this opportunity to connect Barberà and Badia, but also connecting them with the river banks nearby.
L’ avinguda de la Generalitat is the axis that will sew the urban area from west to east, connecting not only Barberà with its train station, but also with Badia del Vallès, el riu Sec and el riu Ripoll. Nowadays it is a car-used axis, but the project attempts to turn it into the main pedestrian street in the city, with a few minimal changes. Once this street gets to the station, it comes across the most important discontinuity.
The station area is the most developed one. The proposal is to open the passage up to the exterior. Some demolition works have to be made in order to get this reconnection. The product we get, is that a barrier-element turns out to be the element that puts in relation both sides of the train tracks. Due to these demolition works, of the existing elements disappear, some are kept, and some of them are half demolished and their function is reinterpreted, giving them an added value. The residue that we get from these works, is reused to build the new elements.
To sum up, the project sews the landscape and the urban center, and allows to overcome all these barrier-elements that divide Barberà and Badia, and at the same time it improves the quality of the urban spaces which sometimes are abandoned or underused, in generating new kind of public spaces where slow vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians would be able to cross the city with all the proper urbanity conditions.
Courtesy of Miquel Arias Costa and Guillem Canudas Gorgas.