SALESIANOS AREA RENOVATION PLAN
1st Prize Project Contest. Finalist COAVN 2016 Prizes. Selected XIII BEAU
(with Ignacio Olite)
The renovation and refurbishment plan of the confinement known as “Salesianos” in Pamplona (Navarra, Spain), is the result of a project competition, anonymous and with intervention of a jury, that Javier Larraz and Ignacio Olite won in July 2014, in competition with other 68 architect teams.
The plan proposes an intervention in two blocks of Pamplona’s Segundo Ensanche (a district in the town center), an urban development built at the beginning of the 20th century that needs an urgent upgrade and revitalizing in some specific spots. The project is situated near the characteristic northeast plain where Pamplona is situated. The local government and city-hall, promoters of this operation, proposed the substitution of the preexisting college, now obsolete, for an ensemble of residential, non-residential, and public space that remakes the city inside itself and recuperates the confinement for urban activity, generating a new activity center.
This arrangement supposes, primarily, an opportunity for a reflection on the city model that wants to be developed in an immediate future, and makes the way to reinforce the amiable, urban and sustainable condition of present day Pamplona, far from the dispersion models of the extensive city that time has revealed as low efficient.
A reasonably dense city, therefore, is proposed, taking density as efficiency and urbanism. A density that turns the city into a sustainable place to live in, according to the norms of the XXI century.
The project also stimulates the singularity of urban events, the diversity inside the uniform city, the improvement of standards originated in the nineteenth century that rule Pamplona´s layout, the construction, in short, of urban spaces of interest to the city and its citizens, over the urban life of the outskirts.
Beyond considering the “Ensanche district block” model as a more or less autonomous and upgradable element that could be replicated to complete the expansion of the city consolidated in this confinement through a non-critic repetition of the pre-established pattern, the proposal, departing from the outline and proportions of the district where it is inserted, explores the condition of “city´s limit” of the place, and looks for a sensible and permeable condition, that reinforces the relation between the city and the exceptional perimeter of free spaces and pedestrian walks that characterize Pamplona´s city limits.
Starting from this premise, the proposed design weaves the existing pedestrian walks and discovers at the same time new connections that open the city to the park.
A diagonal of public spaces is proposed, perpendicular to Baja Navarra Avenue, which uncovers a new pedestrian walk open to the south that reinforces the place´s new centralized condition, supported by an adequate orientation for the proposed residential and non-residential whole which will help define a meeting point attractive for every citizen.
The project liberates half the plot for the consolidation of public space, about 6.000 m2, around which a predominantly residential-use building is articulated, conformed by approximately 400 free housing and diverse typology dwellings of roughly 49.000 m2 over a commercial ground floor totaling 6.500 m2. At the same time the project proposes a public equipment in a 3000 m2 civic center and an underground occupation of 24.500 m2 for its use as an underground car park linked to the built residential.
The volumetry proposed, responsive to the immediate environment of the plot and the region´s scale, establishes a decreasing heights gradient in its approximation to Medialuna street (of a single-family residential use), and to the border of the plain that is situated to the north of the park of the same name, with the aim of respecting its pedestrian character, and of incorporating in a subtle and structured way the shape of the new volumes to the profile of the city´s northern edge.