‘remodelacion de la riera de la salut’ (remodeling work at riera de la salut) has been announced as the winning architectural project of the ASCER tile of spain awards at the 2014 CEVISAMA trade fair in valencia. located in a working class region of sant feliu de llobregat – in the province of barcelona – the project has both urban and social benefits, responding to the region’s historical and economic context. completed by pol femenias arquitectes, the judging panel praised the solution of a large-scale problem through the creation of small ceramic pieces, an affordable intervention that enhances an important space within the spanish city.
located in a neighborhood that sprang up around the town’s former
manufacturing warehouses, the scheme encircles the textile factories
that once provided employment for local residents. following the
demolition of one of the site’s last remaining factories, an underground
car park was built to serve the district, (known as ‘la salut’),
leaving a large concrete covered void where the works once stood.
previously hidden, the emptiness left by the old factory and the exposed
elevations of the houses are represented as the new façade of the
public space. the choice of ceramics as a material to clad the old walls
was natural. the strong and inexpensive tiles proved to be an ideal
solution, guaranteeing optimal aging in response to frost, rain and
temperature fluctuation. it was the design team’s intention to recover
the site’s industrial past, through a new structure that incorporated
the richness of the previous partition. a collage of textures and
apertures reflect the different states and interventions that the city
had experienced over time.
through determining a simple geometry with the fewest parts possible, a
150 meter wall was established, maintaing its connection with the
neighboring properties. the ceramic partition also needed to preserve
the varying degrees of opacity, incorporating different textures, and
providing continuous finish throughout the park. after rigorous testing
procedures, it was decided that the self-supporting structure would
consist of only three pieces: a 20x20x20cm cube and a 20×13x5cm rhombus
(opaque or perforated). the cube allowed an optimization of the
production, as it worked in both opaque and transparent forms depending
on the side it was placed on. the assembly of these three pieces allowed
an almost organic coronation of the wall. the color range for the
ceramic blocks was taken from the previous wall, reducing the rear
façades to seven predominant tones.
the proposal extended the walls of the existing properties, shaping each parterre of the adjacent public park. the landscaped space is composed of smaller scale, domestic areas allowing the visitor to feel at home. thus, each section is designed uniquely in both plan and section, creating topographies that shelter the occupant from the passing street.