Gironella’s new access

Gironella 2013-2015

New access to the historic centre. Built work

  • Architect: Carles Enrich Studio
  • Collaborators: MASAad (structure)
  • Client: Servei de Patrimoni Arquitectònic Local (Diputació de Barcelona) – Gironella Town Council
  • Contractors: Solà Cardona
  • Surface area: 4 sqm
  • Photographs: Adrià Goula
  • Awards: Opinion Prize FAD 2016, First prize Bienal de Arquitectura y Urbanismo XIII, Nominated EU Mies Award, First prize Catalunya Construcció, First prize Mostres d’Arquitectura Terres Centrals,  Finalist European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention, Special Mention Hispalyt Award, Selected ENOR Awards, Finalist Arquia Próxima V Award, Finalist European Prize for Urban Public Space, Selected Bienal Iberoamericana Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Selected Landscape Biennal Rosa Barba

Gironella is a municipality that has grown in recent decades, divided by the river Llobregat. The historic centre is situated atop a 20-metre cliff with vestiges of the medieval castle and its wall, declared national heritage. This difference in level has generated an interruption in the social fabric, as the historic centre has become depopulated due to major problems of accessibility. The commission consisted of creating a new access from the riverbed to the old town, to promote the urban connectivity of the two parts.

The new access is integrated into the historic memory of the place, as one layer more in the landscape. The lift is located at a strategic point on the Cal Metre road which, in the past, led to the textile colonies. This location contributes to the future recovery of the Cal Metre road, attracting many people. The materials used dialogue with pre-existences, strengthening the relationship with the textile industries and recognising the plant stratum as public space. The lift shaft uses three materials. The steel of the structure, constructed in a local workshop; perforated brick laid on its side to create a latticework, giving the project porosity, and the glass facings of the lower level, creating a visual relation with the public space of the river.