Public Park, Mollet del Vallés
Enric Miralles 

Public Park, Mollet del Vallés

Enric Miralles 

Part og Barcelona's industrial periphery, this sector of Mollet del Vallés will be another major access into the city once the planned changes in the traffic system are carried out. Set in a frontier territory whose urban conditions have yet to be defined, the park project was tackled with a row of plantain trees as the only pre-given. With no identifying features in view that could be used to regenerate the district, the project superposes on the profile of the predetermined soil a civic center and toy library building, which stretches onto the park like an artificial topography, with ramps and footbridges upon which visitors will tread like archaeologists over a yet unexplored substratum, a continuous carpet that endeavors to become both a public and shared domain.

With a row of plantain trees as the only given point of reference, this peripheral site creates its own identity by means of a code of signs derived from graffiti strokes and other purely urban images.

By framing pre-existing activities in different scenographies, the proposal explores the place’s precinct character. Its limits are marked by successive elevations that alternate with the rows of vegetation in the form of pergolas and screens on pillars designed to evoke graffiti strokes. This abstract, oversized typography throws shadows on the ground which enhance the playful and pedagogical nature of the park. A hard pavement induces through its changing colors the diversification of activities. The children’s playground safely close to the building, the petanque and skating zone, the relaxation areas on the edges, the series of fountains, etc.: each has its own carpet of concrete and clinker. The topography alters here and there, providing a hollow at the center for outdoor theatrical spectacles. The artificial creates the park, with brightly colored elements that present themselves like huge fruits seen from the air.

The compact masses of vegetation affirm the functional division of the park through small forests protecting the benches and sedentary areas. Grouped by species, the trees contribute as well: willows surround the fountains, mulberries border the children’s playground, and eucalyptuses are planted in pairs all along the perimeter. Elsewhere, species which were already on the site have been complemented with samples of the same families. Amidst them, the refreshing moisture of dispersed fountains guides movement, with water appearing and disappearing in the course of the day, like large puddles after the regular rain. The park awaits us like an oasis on the edge of the city, with surprises of the kind only possible in an invented place.

Cliente Client
Ayuntamiento de Mollet del Vallés

Arquitecto Architect
Enric Miralles

Colaboradores Collaborators
Benedetta Tagliabue, J. Miàs, R. Flores, J. Cargol, J. Artigues, M. R. Green, L. de Colle, N. Álvarez, V. Garriga, S. Maurer; Lluís Cantallops (dirección de obra site supervision)

Consultores Consultants
PGI, Josep Juliol (instalaciones mechanical engineering); Ove Arup (estructura structure); Makoto Fukuda (fotomontajes photocollages

Contratista Contractor
Construcciones y Obras Públicas y Civiles, S.A.

Fotos Photos
Giovanni Zanzi