Europan 17: Prat del Llobregat
Architects: andrea + joan arquitectes, Carolina Capilla
Client: Europan
Status: Competition (2023)
Location: Prat del Llobregat, Spain
Coordinates: 41.335608, 2.091315
Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean
Material: Undefined
Environments: Industrial, Countryside
Visualizer: Studio
Scale: 1.040.000 ㎡ Extralarge
Types: Masterplan, Public space

Estanyat (EN) –
Def: Typical agricultural technique of the Baix Llobregat used to combat soil salinization through the temporary flooding of soil. The freshwater on the surface pushes the salts that plants have absorbed back into the subsurface, providing a natural cleansing effect on the soil, acting as an insecticide, fungicide, and disinfectant. Additionally, creating shallow flooded areas benefits many species of waterfowl and other species to be preserved within the deltaic habitat.

As it is located on a very delicate ecosystem, planning in El Prat de Llobregat arises from understanding and reacquainting the balances of a territory defined by water dynamics. A complex network of canals, collectors, channels, and wells structures this unique landscape in Europe, granting its productive and reproductive capacity. Through this lens the Prat Nord project is re-visioned, establishing that the 2010 winning competition planning is valid regarding the volumetric organization and main axes of the proposal (central park, street layout, etc.). A series of strategies are proposed to ensure that the urban integration into its delta surroundings is particularly careful from its socioecological dimension.

To guarantee the ecosystemic balance of the intervention, a set of premises is established:
– The water supply in El Prat de Llobregat will continue to come from the deep aquifer, highlighting the importance of maintaining municipal management of the resource. The proposal will, therefore, seek to reduce this consumption wherever possible, upcycling alternative sources under the «fit for purpose” principles.
– In order to preserve the natural water cycle, permeable surfaces are maximized, ensuring water infiltration into the subsurface wherever possible.
– Considering the amount of available land, the new urban development should not affect the subsurface by constructing basements that alter water flows and soil dynamics. The established underground parking uses are relocated in built-structures through collective management strategies.
– Recognizing the role that associations and collectives have played throughout the history of El Prat, both in its agricultural origin and during its industrialization, the new development will seek to consolidate a collective dimension and integrate new growth within the original urban core.

In conclusion, the unique situation of Eixample Nord, frozen in time for over 10 years, offers the opportunity to reframe the implementation of a much-needed urban growth for a densely compressed metropolis like AMB in a delicate environment like the Delta del Llobregat. A meticulous study of the fragile deltaic ecosystem balance through the recovery of local techniques, is essential to ensure that construction in the Delta does not lead to its destruction.

Team: Andrea Capilla, Joan Martí, Carolina Capilla | Post date: 09/05/2024 | Views: 377