Urbanistic development and intervention on the landscape

Gironella. Barcelona

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New access to the historic centre of Gironella

Carles Enrich

FAD Awards finalist   City and landscape
Description Technical file

The Jury'a appraisal

This project is proof that great transformations can also be achieved on a small scale. The expansion of Gironella towards the other bank of the river Llobregat, with a marked difference in level, led to the small historic centre to become separated like an island. As in the popular song La Roseta de Gironella, it appears that the inhabitants were forced to leave their town behind. The lift is an invitation to the future, to the refurbishment of the Cal Metre path for the sake of the historic legacy of its industrial textile manufacturing structures. We value the care with which the exact spot was chosen for this vertical beacon as well as the choice of material, which conceals and reveals this modern fit-out. We should highlight the architect’s acumen, management of resources and constructional solutions.


Gironella is a municipality that in recent decades has grown divided by the river Llobregat. The historic centre is located on the top of a hill situated on the right-hand bank of the river, while the modern part has developed on the other bank.

The riverfront is formed by a series of medieval vestiges that represent an architectural and historic asset of heritage value for the town, in the same way as the early 20th-century textile manufacturing colonies that border the river.

However, the strong existing unevenness has generated a social fracture. Over the years the historic centre has become depopulated owing to the difficulties in accessing it. The narrow tiered streets that lead to the Town square are an effort for the elderly and the children.

The project proposal consisted of implanting a lift to access the old district to boost urban connectivity between the two parts of the town, dynamising the use of the historic centre and preventing social exclusion.

With the intention of integrating it as an additional layer in the historical memory of this place and to establish a dialogue with the pre-existence, it was proposed to locate the lift in a strategic spot on the Cal Metre way, which in the past led to the textile colonies, recognising the stratum of vegetation of the Cal Metre way as a first relationship level with the public space and seeking a material continuity with the textile industries.

The bottom 8 metres of the lift box are resolved with a glazed enclosure, transparent enough to guarantee its integration into the Cal Metre way below the treetops of the plane trees, which are a magnificent canopy of shade that changes over the seasons. The 16 upper metres are covered by a lattice that closes off three of the structure’s sides, leaving the inner face open to maintain visual contact with the wall and the vestiges of the town wall during the transit.



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Localización Location: Gironella, Barcelona. Spain. Autores Authors: Carles Enrich, arquitecto (Carles Enrich arquitectura + urbanismo). Colaboradores Collaborators: Adriana Campmany, Àngel Rosales y Ada Sánchez, arquitectos. Estructuras Structures: MA+SAad. Promotor Developer: Servicio de Patrimonio Arquitectónico Local (Diputación de Barcelona) / Ayuntamiento de Gironella. Constructora General Contractor: Construcciones Solà-Cardona. Instalación ascensor Lift installation: Inelsa Zener. Año proyecto Project date: 2013-2015. Fecha de finalización de la obra Works completion date: Agosto 2015. Fotografía Photography: Adrià Goula.
Contact
Carles Enrich

Photography
Adrià Goula
Barcelona
www.adriagoula.com