Comerç Street is the border between two very different urban fabrics, the medieval city and the Eixample Fontserè. Although it can be associated with the character of an Eixample street due to its proportions, in most of its layout it is an asymmetrical street, with two very different façades.
The surroundings of the Born Market have a monumental character related to the presence of the building. The spaces that converge there (Comerç street and the little space between Comercial square and Born Boulevard) relate to it by contrast, in terms of character and environmental comfort, counteracting the monumentality with a more domestic atmosphere.
The pavement is made of granite cobblestones, partially recycled, in a single platform, extending the materiality of the surroundings of the Market, and also drawing the layout of the medieval streets with recycled cobblestones. In the portion on Princesa street side, the trace of the Rec Comtal (medieval ditch) is also recognizable. In it, we tested a new system for placing smaller cut recycled cobblestoned, with wider joints.
Both portions of the street were designed to have a domestic atmosphere under a dense vegetal roof defined by trees. Trees are planted aligned on the side of the service strip, and in a “messy” way on the living side, according to the asymmetrical section of the street. This green roof is reflected in the level of the pavement with generously sized nurseries and bushy parterres that help to give color to the street.
Nurseries and furniture are systematically grouped together, creating living and resting areas. In the portion on França Station side there is a large sand cut that contributes to the general domestic character, as well as providing permeability and comfort to the soil.
The center of Barcelona lacks a lot of playgrounds. In this case, there was a strong neighborhood demand for its implementation. Since conventional playgrunds require (by regulations) fencing, framing a border that we didn’t find appropriate given the dimensions of the street, we designed two deregulated playing areas, not subject to the rules of the conventional playgrounds. On the França Station side, two traditional games drawn on the ground, with black basalt cobblestones. On the Princesa street side, a deformation of the pavement plan, which folds to generate a stone topography. It is a surprise, a call to the pedestrian to play, to have fun, which stimulates imagination and appropriation by children and adults without predetermining a specific way of using it.
Project location: Comerç Street, Barcelona, Spain.
Design year: 2015-2018
Year Built: 2017-2019