Esparreguera – Colonia Sedó (ES)

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Esparraguera Colonia Sedó(ES)

Scale L urban - XL territorial
Team representative multidisciplinary team with a diversity of profiles: architecture, urban planning, rehabilitation, historical heritage, economist, geographer, sociologist, environmentalist and civil engineering
Location Colonia Sedó, Esparraguera municipality
Population 22,551 inhabitants
Strategic site 427.46 ha - Project site 19.33 ha

Site proposed by Incasòl
Actors involved Incasòl + City Council
Owner(s) of the site 44% Public / 56%private

Commission after competition Definition of a Strategic Development Plan for the development of the Còlonia Sedó; Strategy for the rehabilitation of the residential complex; Rehabilitation project for the old Fonda’s building for habitational use.

More Information

Urban City Strategy

A strategic analysis of the Colony’s residential and industrial complex that weights the revitalisation of the industrial fabric in the context of the Colony’s obsolescence, the mixity in contrast to the current specialisation of uses and typologies, and the inclusiveness and integration, in contrast to the current urban and social segregation.
The strategic analysis should take the form of action to be taken on existing historical heritage assets together with the integration of new buildings, the connectivity of the Colony to the surrounding urban fabric, a self-sufficient energy transition of the Colony, with the installation of renewable energies and the use of water resources, as well as the integration of urban agriculture with the open spaces in the residential sector.

Site Definition

The Colony covers 14,39 Ha and is located by the riverside of the Llobregat river, 2 km north to Esparraguera’s historical city centre, 35 km away from Barcelona. The colony is accessible through the county road C-1414 that communicates Esparraguera with Olesa de Montserrat, a 7 km’s ride from the fist urban core, at 3’5 km from the latest.
At first it was a single real estate - the perimetral stone wall that enclosed it remains still - dedicated to industrial production of textile. The structure of the colony’s plan is based on the separation and distinction of its activities. In its southern end is located the zone for industrial activities, nowadays occupied by a multitude of small-sized businesses. In its northern part is located the residential zone that reached at some point 229 housing units, together with the buildings that offered services derived from the inhabitants needs, such as a church, a school, an old theatre, the ancient washing place or the eatery. As a central and articulating space, on the edge - the gates - that separates the productive zone and the residences, stand the old master’s house, with its garden.

How Must Metabolism and Inclusivity Be Developped and Connected?

In the second half of the 19th century, the main vectors of Catalonia's industrialisation were its rivers. This gave rise to a new social and business model in 77 industrial colonies. These combined their industrial activity with housing for their workforce, as they were in areas isolated from existing urban cores and a clear spatial differentiation of the uses that were developed inside.
Colònia Sedó is one of the oldest examples of the latter. Colònia Sedó was built in 1846 as a textile hub. It reached its maximum splendour in 1940 and concluded in 1980 when production ceased, followed by a gradual reduction in the occupancy of its 229 houses implying the continuous degradation of its structures. In 2003, Incasòl acquired the residential part of the Colony, where 37 families still live. Ownership of the industry was broken up, and now, small and medium-sized industries operate from the site.
Today' the Colony represents an obsolete urban model, specialized in its two main uses and that is configured as a space of urban and social segregation. The whole sets a space for opportunity in which to develop a new urban shape that weights the high importance of the heritage by introducing uses, spaces and activities that will permit shaping a new future for the Colony. The point is to develop the potential of the natural setting with environmental and heritage opportunities, by the implementation of initiatives that integrate renewable energies, and in particular the hydric resource already present in the colony from the outset.

Questions on the site

Coming soon...

This site is connected to the following theme

Reinventing Rurality and Productive Heritage

Care is about recognizing the vulnerability of our living milieu. It is about finding new design ways to pay attention to marginalized, hurt, or ignored areas and help to repair them.
These sites are heritage-related, regarding previous forms of production or related to rurality. Part of the challenge is about taking care of such areas with little means of economy by revalorizing the existing as an asset to living and working in the countryside.

Specific documents

Questions on the site

Fr. 18 June 2021
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 2 July 2021
Deadline for answers

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Gate between the residential and industrial colonies
Industrial colony
Residential colony
The church in the residential colony