Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines Igualada, Barcelona Landscape Architecture Design Images

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada

Igualada Green Ring, Catalunya, Spain – design by Batlle I Roig Arquitectura

1 Dec 2018

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona

Architects: Batlle I Roig Arquitectura

Location: Camí de les Guixeres, Igualada, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Landscape of the Year Winner

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona

The project is set within the broader scheme of the Igualada Green Ring, the aim of which is to generate a series of itineraries for pedestrians and bicycles in the form of a green belt around the city’s perimeter.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada

Image Credit: Jordi Surroca

This new sustainable mobility infrastructure sets out to design a system of parks and peri-urban open spaces that function as a network suitable for environmentally friendly leisure activities, adapting and recovering, to a large extent, spaces that are currently run-down or underused.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada

In this context, Camí de les Guixeres, the track leading to the mines, represents the recovery of a stretch of 1.65 kilometres, out of which the first 800 metres have now been completed.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada

The natural space through which this track runs lies on the northern limit of the city of Igualada and is in a very run-down condition. Intense mining was carried out in the site (El Claret and El Pelfort gypsum mines) and, when the mines closed down, the area was used as a municipal waste transfer station. In the late seventies, when this facility was also closed down, the space was totally abandoned with no subsequent corrective action or recovery.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada

The condition in which the space was left presents various issues: the alteration of the original topography has led to slope failures and landslides due to the loss of superficial vegetation coverage and the absence of runoff control measures.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada

Water accumulates quickly and intensely at certain points, creating progressive damage. In addition, the rock walls where gypsum was formerly mined present steep unstable slopes and often cause small rock falls.

Camí de les Guixeres, Igualada green ring

However, despite their run-down state, they also have many possibilities. The most obvious is the raised position of the entire itinerary above the city, granting a great potential as a path with a scenic viewpoint, overlooking the city and the mountain of Montserrat.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona

Apart from that, there are still small areas of the original pinewoods that have withstood the various activities carried out on the site. These original vegetation remnants have to be maintained and enhanced. Finally, the complete abandonment of the area gave way to an incipient productive activity that has colonised part of the sector with a plantation of olive and almond trees.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona

The project has two principal objectives: one of them aims for a better connectivity, to ensure the continuity of the city-scale project (Green Ring), and the other ones seeks to recover the landscape and biodiversity, establishing the necessary elements to generate a new dynamic in the site that will gradually improve its environmental conditions by harnessing the water. In this sense, the proposal creates a typical section with three clearly differentiated strips that adapt to the different situations of the layout, addressing the problems of the site as well as developing its potential.

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona

Camí de les Guixeres, Igualada green ring Barcelona

Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Igualada images / information received 011218

Batlle i Roig arquitectes


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