The Joy of the Vegetable Garden

El Prat de Llobregat (ES) - Winner


Associates: Carles Esquerra (ES), Gabriel Casals (ES) – architects

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VIDEO (by the team)

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1. How do you define the main issue of your project in relation with the theme “Living Cities Imagining architecture taking care of the milieus”? And in which way do you think your project can contribute to an ecological and/or social evolution?
Our proposal focuses on the vulnerability of the Llobregat delta based on the analyses of 3 risks of climate change (sea level rise, rainfall floodings and heat island effect), also repairing the several deficiencies as for ecology, connectivity and site specificity. This approach will create new synergies between social and ecological patterns restoring the link between city and territory.

2. How did the issues of your design and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
From the very beginning, it was clear the need of a complete review of the masterplan to make it more sustainable. For us, this approach was an excuse to take it further and bring the resilience of the territory and the connectivity with the urban fabric as the main issue. At some point all those ideas met and articulate the narrative of the proposal.


3. Have you treated these issues previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Climate change, resilience and connectivity are topics that are on the agenda nowadays. We’ve worked with some of them on our professional career, but it’s relevance will grow exponentially in a near future. We took as a reference some projects that put the focus on climate change and specially its effect on water management, like “Parque del Agua” in Zaragoza, by Alday&Jover


4. How can your project be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
The site is complex, in size but also for the number of actors intervening on the process. Incasol, which is the main actor, is very much oriented to the goals of the proposal, launching within europan a competition to update the current masterplan. Also, AMB has worked with some of the ideas we are proposing. But there are many other actors like the municipality, Generalitat (infrastructures)


5. How did you form the team for the competition and if so what are the skills you associated?
We are both architects who started studying together at the university. Gabi is more focused in housing while Carles is in Landscape and urbanism, but we both have worked on both scales.

6. How could this prize help you in your professional career?
The prize will give us a chance to start a new housing project together. Also, it will be a platform for us to make ourselves known in order to make future collaborations and competitions.

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Average age of the associates: 34 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? if so, which ones?
Yes, we’ve won the first prize on the “passatges metropolitans” competition by AMB, and the runner-up prize on the Europan 13 in Molffeta, Italy. Neither of them where implemented.