vora is an architecture studio located in Barcelona since 2000. It is lead by Pere Buil and Toni Riba, both graduated from ETSAB in 2000. We work on building and urban design projects of different scales and typologies. Our built works have received several awards and have been published in architectural magazines all over the world. We combine our professional work with teaching, curating and cultural activism. Our approach to design and the building process is both abstract and material. We are interested in reduction and materiality as a response to present challenges. We are also interested in traces and signs of the past as the remains of memory and their impact on collective identities.
the development of the streets around the mercat del born is part of a strategy for regenerating the la ribera district in barcelona, which has been for many years at a standstill due to the lack of continued use of the market. the born district is a key connecting area between ciutat vella (the old quarter) and the parc de la ciutadella.
the opening of the mercat del born will render visible a chunk of medieval city that was demolished in 1714. the interior houses both the medieval city, in the form of the archaeological site, and the 19th century city, which is embodied in the structure of the building itself.
using the information that has been collected from various sites and combining it with ancient cartography we have made a conceptualisation and abstraction effort whose goal has been the implementation of this information within the paving. the end result provides us with two levels of reading: on the one hand the definition of the layout of the old streets, and on the other an abstracted reproduction of the constructed elements that define the medieval city, all of this translated into a guided composition in the paving that is suggestive rather than explicit.
the act of marking these traces on the allows us to visualise the layout of the demolished 17th-century city.
The building material for the paving defines the 19th century historical period of the city, which used granite paving. the existing paving stones are reused in the streets.
la salut is a peripheral quarter of badalona, a big council attached to barcelona. it grew strongly in the 60’s and 70’s with immigration from the south of spain, and recently strong identity problems have emerged due to a high rate of new immigration from all over the world.
the aim of the intervention is to give identity to the whole area through those two key spaces, giving them presence, providing them with the required functions and reflecting the complexity of the environment.
presence. the spaces were residual areas. the successive transformations of the neighborhood in social standard, public facilities and infrastructures have given them a new presence. the intervention is a process of “emptying” the space. where before there was a superimposition of fixed elements (walls, street lamps, stairs, benches, shrubs…) now there is geometry, flows of people.
formal simplicity. the new squares respond to a great number of circulation flows. we opted to simplify to the maximum the form of the squares, reducing them to inclined planes defined by their triangular limits. isotropic spaces where itineraries are not prioritised and where free flow is facilitated.
identity. from the limits of the triangular space an abstract composition is defined by geometry, which reacts to the complexity of the context. a composition of colors that confers character and singularity has been superimposed, red in the case of the market square because of the representative character of the building.
the sant francesc boulevard is the most important civic space in the centre of vilafranca. due to its proportion it is more of a lounge than a boulevard. during the years it has been the stage for many important events in town.
our project covers and finalises a project that was traumatic for the town: the construction of an underground car park that entailed chopping down the existing trees, which resulted in the people of vilafranca losing the pleasant shadow they had and a symbol of their community. symbology, centrality, memory and functionality are complementary strategies that allow citizens to establish a connection with this important public space.
symbology and centrality. we have reproduced a piece of the wine-producing landscape of penedès in an exercise of formal abstraction, trying to promote the role of the town as showcase and wine capital of the region. the floor design has also a great potential of plastic expression. its singularity gives to the space the perception of centrality.
memory and functionality. we provide a new development for a place which is a landmark in the collective imaginary but suffered a traumatic disfigurement recently. our project tries to take advantage of this emotional connection in a new way. it establishes a perceptive continuity that allows us to bring back a part of its lost memory. trees are a key element. many uses are possible thanks to the great versatility given to the space.