Inhabited landscape, a walk through the Ereta park
Urban park, restaurant and exhibtion spaces, Benacantil Hill, Alicante (ES)
Architects: Marc Bigarnet and Frédéric Bonnet, Obras architects
Clients: Generalitat Valenciana, City of Alicante
How to move from an architectural subject to a new type of landscaping proposal? How to recover a natural hill simultaneously iconic of the city and arid face of 120 metres in altitude? How to cede back to the city and to its inhabitants, this space as a community place and link between contrasted district, while managing problems of consolidation, safety and access? The two architects Marc Bigarnet and Frédéric Bonnet, runner-up of the Europan 3 competition for this site in Alicante, propose a project put together in successive strata, discussed and negotiated one by one. Each stratum is a distinct point of view on the park in the process of gestation (consolidation's and irrigation's infrastructures, access, walkways, views, lights, uses, vegetation...) Final project is a park linking two worlds: raw nature, burnt by the sun and the swarming city, hunched at their feet. Dropping 120 metres in altitude, the walker travels from the public urban space -date palms, white marble gardens- to the wild foot of the cliffs beaten by the salt-laden wind -sedum, Aleppo pine, bare rock, in passing by several buildings open onto panoramic views or Ereta Square: exhibition hall, restaurant, cafeteria and also a great expanse of shade, gardeners' and wardens' shelter and a multipurpose hall linked to the district. Both locals and visitors experience the shared link that unites contrasted districts, can recognise the power of a greater territory, Mediterranean and luminous, opening onto elsewhere.