SALÓ SAGRADA FAMILIA URBAN REMODELATION
LOCATION BARCELONA, SPAIN DEVELOPER CITY COUNCIL OF BARCELONA AREA 38,8 HA, ACTUATION AREA 31 HA YEARS 2012 – ON GOING
It is expected that in 2025 the works of Sagrada Família Basilica will end, on time to celebrate the centenary of the passing of Antoni Gaudí in 1926. But with its completion new, or rather hidden, problems arise. Urban initial conditions taken into account by Gaudí in his design have changed beyond recognition and now it is mandatory to articulate a correct relationship between Temple and City.
Probably stemming from a generalized skepticism in Barcelona that Sagrada Família would never be completed, now, 143 years afterwards, we are facing several clashing points between the two, configuring a very complex situation that needs to be addressed. Hence the necessity of the Strategic Design we are carrying out for the Municipality of Barcelona about the entourage of Sagrada Família, one of the most iconic buildings in the world.
The issue becomes more acute if we take into consideration that several buildings have to be demolished in order to allow for the completion of the Basilica. Even if urban regulations existing since the beginning of the 20th century considered this fact and building permits were granted under the condition of temporality, the situation now is socio-politically much more complex than in Gaudí’s time.
SAGRADA FAMÍLIA PROMENADE project’s main preoccupation is to establish a common ground to solve this situation while bringing together different scales and different sorts of people: the Temple needs the City and vice versa. It has to become a space for the neighbors, for the rest of the citizens of Barcelona, and for the millions of visitors from around the world.
Two main problems arise when demolishing the inner parts of the two blocks where the Promenade has to be located. On one hand, the exposure of the interior façades of the remaining buildings, never meant to be open toward a public space and with a highly domestic and informal character. On the other hand, the necessity to accommodate the access to the Basilica, located 5 m above street level, by means of a staircase capable of dialoging at the same time with the Temple and the City.
Our design envisions a contemporary public space that keeps as much as possible of the existing buildings and incorporates normal neighborhood and city-scale functions to devolve urbanity to a place that is, currently and rapidly, becoming a tourist-only area. By providing public services and proposing neighborhood commercial activities, our aim is to activate the Promenade as a regular space of Barcelona, and to ensure a proper treatment of the domestic façades without needing to monumentalize them. A key part of SAGRADA FAMÍLIA PROMENADE and its activation is the grand staircase leading up to the basilica. We conceive it as a contemporary element which is a seamless part of the public space and is capable of being used and lived in several ways. Its light construction, made of steel and glass, dialogues with Gaudí’s work and acts like a giant rose window that lets light through towards the street, improving its conditions and allowing for an unexpected new viewpoint of Sagrada Família.
EMBA ENRIC MASSIP-BOSCH (PRINCIPAL); INMA RODRÍGUEZ (PROJECT DIRECTOR); ALEIX ANTILLACH, BET CASES, GIULIA PEREGGO (ARCHITECTS) RENDERS MARCO SFREGOLA, JORGE MASCARAY (EMBA)