Liminal City

Barcelona (ES) - Special mention


Associates: Sandra Garcia Morata (ES), Víctor Navarro Guillen (ES) – architects

Carrer del Pou 38, 3º 1ª. 08016 Barcelona
+34 660128379 /

See the complete listing of portraits here
See the site here


Click on the images to enlarge
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We met in college but we hadn't done any projects together until we finished. Afterwards we decided to try some architecture competitions.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic, Living cities?
Living city is one that favours reproductive activity and at the same time maintains a balance with productive activity. This balance improves the quality of life of the people who live in the city, incorporating interpersonal care into its philosophy. When we started the project we identified that the urban area where the project takes place was an industrial area without links between the near neighbourhood and the future park above the rail, despite to be accessible by foot. The industrial area has become over the years a liminal space, a place in between and empty during non-working hours, which usually host socially not accepted collectives. Our project wants to leave behind this condition of liminal spaces to convert it into a liminal city, reducing the production spaces to incorporate new uses, equipment and residential areas, which will generated a nexus between neighbourhoods through non-conventional places to embrace everybody and to allow the socialization, reunion and association between collectives, neighbours and workers. Places for work, live and joy in a healthy urban environment.

3. How did the issues on metabolic and inclusive vitalities and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
From our point of view, we consider that in order to turn this industrial area into an inclusive site and for its activity to go beyond working hours, a more radical action was necessary. That is why we decided to convert the industrial fabric to a mixed fabric, with the exception of two key buildings as catalyst. That would allow us to completely mix productive uses with community in order to generate more life, while generating a new urban fabric with diverse spaces for social interaction without forgetting the identity of the area.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Norreport Station by COBE, SESC Pompéia by  Lina Bo Bardi, and Planning for Co-existence by Nord Architects 
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
Our project takes in consideration two different timelines as a response of two different objectives. The first one was made to understand how have been the history and the local urbanism of the area over the years, taking in considerations social and economics factors for their development and their future perspectives. The second ones, it’s a plan of how it should be the implantation of the project organized by phases. Each phase will implement citizens’ participative process of suggestions and revisions in order to improve and adapt the project to the necessities of each moment. In addition, we recognize that to implement the project is necessary to have an early stage that will represent the transition of the pre-existing industrial units to another places. The timelines or forecasts were very tight to develop, but it was also a way to pressure so that these processes (or even small contests) do not last forever. Especially having a very similar private initiative so close that it intends to do it in 2-3 years.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Yes, it was our first time. We want to try how we get on in this kind of competition. In a professional level, this has motivated us to continue working, discussing and reflecting on how the cities must be in the near future and how we can transform them to be a living city for their citizens.

 we are NAMO although it is even a project. We want to make a website to show what we are working on.
Function: architecture
Average age of the associates: 31 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? if yes, which ones?
Both of us have participated in some competitions, in which we were graded with a special mention.