ARCH 574: La Model
Graduate Design Studio
Sara Bartumeus Ferré, Spring 2020
The City of Barcelona is facing the urban renovation of its former prison. La Model, located in the Eixample, the densest city district, will be transformed into a new hub of public facilities and green space. The goal is to preserve the heritage and historical memory of the complex and to turn an enclosed site into an open space for the use of local residents, with urban greenery, local facilities and public housing.
The building was opened to the public in January 2018 and, since then, the site has been operating as a social and cultural facility, offering a constant program of activities and exhibitions as a way to initiate its integration into the city life.
In response, this studio will tackle the following goals and design challenges:
- Turning the opaque and armored enclosure--a site as large as two ‘Cerdà blocks’--into a green and lively place open to the public, one more piece of the Eixample urban fabric and the green network of the city
- Reimagining a new community hub that responds to today’s people’s needs, but still maintains the site’s essence regarding architectural heritage and collective memory
How can we rethink the traditional city and act in its spaces of centrality? How can we integrate the site in both the urban and social fabric of the neighborhood? What is timeless or specific in the consolidated fabric and urban landscape of the Eixample designed by Cerdà? Can our projects act as catalysts of activity and generate urban life?