Beatriz Alés Atelier

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Centralize to connect: urban mixed use development

Centralize to connect: urban mixed use development

This ten-storey cylinder is erected in the middle of a chaotic area where there is no space for pedestrians. Since the port was established there, Zona Franca has been a neighborhood in a cul-de-sac. Even though it is facing the sea, a big physical and also administrative barrier keeps this district separated from its main appeal. This separation is the reason why the building is placed on top of the 29th door of the harbour-city gate, and it concentrates facilities which belong to both, the inside and the outside parts of the port.
The border between those two parts is still existing, since it is necessary to go through the maritime customs to access the port terminal. But the sensory barrier has disappeared, and neighbors and workers are sharing now this atmosphere. The administrative limit has been transformed and it has turned into a wall, a slab or even the riser of a stair. We have opened the port to the citizens’ collective imaginary.
In this area of industrial buildings, long distances and lack of sidewalks, the main goal of the centralization is to create a place with enough density to be appropiate for the human scale, a place where pedestrians do not feel in the middle of nowhere.

2014 — Diploma graded with Honors
ETSAB-UPC
Location: Zona Franca, Barcelona, ES