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description

previous state

The arrival of industrial expansion at the mouth of the River Besòs brought about a radical transformation in the landscape with the building of new housing complexes, which nearly always went hand in hand with the creation of industries. The first of these, the district of La Catalana, was built to house the workers from the electrical company of the same name, which was established by the river mouth in 1917. The firm Cobasa built the Besòs district in around 1960 and it brought a great number of inhabitants to the municipality. Lastly, La Mina, which takes its name from the mine which supplied the fountain of a popular restaurant with water, was built in 1970, following an agreement between Barcelona Municipal Council and the Instituto Nacional de la Vivienda (National Housing Institute), in order to move families from shacks to large blocks of flats, which made a marked contribution to building up the zone.

These districts occupied land which the Cerdà Plan had envisaged as the great park of the Besòs: the "lung" of Barcelona. The current park only occupies a small piece of the 190 ha. of green space originally envisaged by the planner on the right-hand side of the river. Latterly, the space of the park was occupied by the industrial facilities of Electrometalurgia el Carburo, Cemoto, S.A. and Parque Norte and the farmhouses of Can Sabaters and Can Sambró.

aim of the intervention

As in other similar areas, the Barcelona Metropolitan Corporation purchased and expropriated the land and held a competition inviting ideas for a city park which would serve the surrounding districts and, more specifically, La Mina. It was a question of equipping a heavily built-up area, with a high population which had no basic amenities, with a recreational space which it completely lacked. The creation of this green space was linked to a policy of providing social, cultural, sporting and health facilities.

description

The park is located in the Besòs district of Sant Adrià and is adjacent to the districts of La Mina and La Catalana, which according to the 1998 census bring together 15,922 inhabitants: 50% of the municipality's population. The park is bounded by the Carrer Cristóbal de Moura, the connecting railway line, the sports area of the Spanish Football Federation and the Ronda de Sant Ramon de Penyafort. On the other side of the Ronda, is the other district of the Besòs, which is located within the Barcelona municipal area. It is a modern park, with a design based on open geometric lines, set on completely flat land. The space is built around a series of longitudinal lines composed of pieces of concrete and two paved walkways lined with street lamps and trees, which cross the park and make it possible to use it without totally abandoning the urban setting.

The rest of its surface is resolved by combining three wooded islands, in the form of winding strips, with the big esplanade, which is the main space of the park and is covered mainly in short grass with small areas of paving. The wooded islands and walkways intersect at certain points, and thus make it easier to move from the open, sunny spaces on the esplanade to the enclosed, shady spaces of the wooded strips.

The esplanade is used for recreational and group activities and includes area for games and sports, fountains, canopies and different geometric forms made of concrete (prisms, cylinders and a winding line of spheres) which besides being a sculptural element, can be used to play on.

assessment

The park has provided a series of built-up districts, which were in a state of social and architectural decay, with a public green space vital to improving their difficult living conditions. This is the first step towards the regeneration of the entire zone, which envisages a series of interventions geared to the environmental renewal of the final stretch of the River Besòs and the redevelopment of the seafront.

This will give the park a greater raison d'être and will involve the river as a key linking element in improving the quality of the whole area. In this sense, we should not forget the renovation of the districts of La Catalana, La Mina and San Salvador as well as the reorganisation of major infrastructures (the new layout of the coastal ring road, the extension of Carrer Cristóbal de Moura). The fact that the Fòrum 2004 will be held here, on this site at the mouth of a river, could be the vital element to give an impetus to the major regeneration envisaged, in one of the most run-down areas in the Barcelona metropolitan area.

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technical sheet

CITY: Sant Adrià de Besòs (31,939 inhabitants)

COUNTRY: Spain

BEGINNING OF THE PROJECT: 1983

BEGINNING OF WORK: 1984

END OF WORK: 1986

AREA: 65,000 m2

credits

AUTHORS:

Viaplana&Piñón, arquitectes, Albert Viaplana, Helio Piñón