Demolitions are common in the historic center of Olot. For different reasons, the same consequences: abandoned lots, loss of urbanity, disfigurement of the street, destruction of the ordinary landscape. Given that half of the Can Sau house was affected by street alignment, it was all demolished, leaving an urban void characterized by a party wall and four stepped buttresses that faced the side façade of the church of the patron saint.

Upon request for a pavement project and an ongoing contract for a waterproof metal cladding, the assignment was reformulated. It was urgent to allocate resources to the vertical plane to achieve a more comfortable atmosphere in the street, and catalyze activity, apart from guaranteeing the waterproof qualities of the party wall. In the compact city, the façades take responsibility for giving shape and character to the street.

An emergency scenery was built. It completes what the buttresses suggest, revealing in the background the traces of domestic activity marked on the party wall. A construction of three vaults and four niches is offered to the public space as a porous façade, accompanied by a minimum of stands. It is an unfinished and appropriable structure, a scenographic support to urban life.

The main structures are defined with hollow brick and lime mortar joint: it is appropriate to complete the load-bearing walls and solve vaults with a single sheet. It is also a common, local product that allows local bricklayers to be employed. The steel is reserved for the support of the vaults, braces and two pillars.

The intervention recognizes that the city is built on its own stratum and gives rise to an agglomeration of past stories. Emergency Scenery is the construction of an unreal, symbolic history that highlights this public space. The glass panels and the performances in the niches aim to recover the memory of the important role of crafts and commerce in the neighbourhood. It is an intervention by the visual artist Quim Domene.

The Tura church, confined between narrow streets, now gains a public space, presided by the blinded door of the previous temple of the XV century. What was an abandoned lot is now a civic space that begins to accommodate activity. It is a first step to re-colonize this abandoned area of the old town. In a short time, two local associations already use it as an outdoor room for celebrations. Appropriation transcends use. Furthermore, appropriation transcends use. The structure allows a different approach for each citizen, depending on their affinities and experiences. There is a Can Sau for each person.

Role of the entrant in the project: Architects
unparelld’arquitectes: Eduard Callís, Guillem Moliner

Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Visual Artist: Quim Domene
Design and construction team: Clàudia Calvet, Xevi Rodeja, Sara Palmada, Sergi Jiménez
Structural Designer: Amaia López
Building Engineer: Gemma Planagumà (Olot Town Hall)
Promoter: Olot Town Hall
Project location: Can Sau. Valls Nous, 1. 17800 Olot. Spain
Design year: 2018
Year Built: 2018-2019


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