The Plaza Europa, is the great civic space that, under a shed, allows some of the most important events in the life of the Santa Olivencia. The culmination of a rich fabric formed by small open spaces. The end of a beautiful journey that, starting from an ancient castle, allows you to discover a set of fountains, crops and margins of dry stone. Unfortunately, also a space with a set of disorganized programs with poor accessibility away from the memory of the place. The proposal proposes to reverse this situation by physically and temporarily connecting the Plaza with its municipality. Making all the ends of the square accessible and placing a small raft in the highest level, permeability is enhanced by reintegrating public space into the urban fabric. By arranging at a level and in an orderly way, some bands with multiple programs that preserve the pre-existing trees – while remembering the neighboring crops -, it is possible to generate situations of intergenerational relationship in a space that is actually of great versatility. Eliminating some obsolete structures and proposing a small volume that brings together a bar, warehouse and bathrooms accessible to the opposite end of the pre-existing roof, it invigorates and maximizes the use of the Plaza. It is precisely in this idea to take advantage of the legacy with a new contemporary look that also appears; the dry stone: as new retaining walls (medium size), seating benches (large size extracted in quarry) and passable pavements located on the fringes (small size). The compacted sandstone: as soil that respects the environment, reuses the aggregates of the demolished construction elements and is integrated into the arid memory of the old square. The arena (where children now play while grandparents watch them sitting and parents talk in the shadow of a simple pergola): as a useful piece of a global space drainage system, which is proposed by recalling the use of groundwater municipality for irrigation.
“Pedra Seca”, presented by AGORA ARQUITECTURA won the First Prize of the Contest of architectural projects for the remodeling of the Plaza Europa of Santa Oliva. This was the jury’s assessment:
“Primer premi a Pedra Seca, per ser l’opció que s’adequa millor a la realitat sociocultural del municipi. Amb intervencions subtils aconsegueix un bona funcionalitat de la plaça, amb espais diàfans, fragmentables i flexibles. Resol delicadament el tractament de la partió amb els habitatges de llevant. És viable econòmicament, amb utilització de materials locals; una proposta sostenible que s’encamina a reduir el consum energètic, i de fàcil manteniment.”