Blue lines

Vallbona, Barcelona 2019

Europan 15. Competition

  • Architect: Carles Enrich Studio
  • Collaborators: Cíclica (sustainability)
  • Client: Barcelona City Council
  • Surface: 16,5 ha
  • Renders: Carles Enrich Studio
  • Awards: Second prize ex aequo Europan 15

Vallbona is a district on the border between Barcelona and Montcada that was a stronghold of the city’s production system between the tenth and nineteenth centuries. Urban development and population growth have destroyed its role as an ecosystem, putting land in the river Besòs basin to speculative use that undermines the environment. This project sets out to establish Vallbona as an example of a production system that can, in time, be implemented in the rest of the city. The ultimate aim is to recover the Besòs basin as an area of production by using water from the Rec Comtal irrigation channel in a gravity-fed irrigation system for allotments and gardens in Barcelona neighbourhoods.

In a district cut off by infrastructure projects built in the fifties, the proposal is to improve connectivity by overcoming its present-day isolation. The axes of Carrer Castelldefels and the Tapioles stream will be used and renaturalised as layouts to structure and draw the space together. The Rec Comtal irrigation channel will once again become an urban connector between the different districts. The idea is to insert various housing units of different types: single-family units, workshop houses and courtyard houses, all designed as habitable infrastructures with communal productive spaces associated with the urban allotments. The logic of farmland plots is recovered, and the units are laid out along the Rec Comtal, giving it greater urban significance as a street.