castello plazas‘the other facade‘
HISTORIC CENTER RENEWAL. CASTELLÓ D'EMPÚRIES, GIRONA
AJAC COMPETITION FOR YOUNG ARCHITECTS
The project designs the outdoor space around a private residential multi-apartment building at the outskirts of the city of Mao, in the Menorca Island.
The design has specific responses to the different outdoor spaces in which the plot is divided by the apartment building.
In the north, a sunken space acts as a threshold between the street, located at an upper level, and the housing. A southern garden area, at the other side of the building, faces the harbor and the se
The northern outdoor space is the main gateway to the housing complex and community garden. A mosaic of concrete pavement with a com- plex pattern of different textures, some of them with embedded gravel of a variety of grain, composes the different surfaces and organizes the individual accesses to the housing unit lobbies. This intentionally breaks down the scale of the continuous space into a more domestic one, where the large collective space is divided into minor spaces.
The plantation of trees, lines of populus alba, together with the provision of places for rest, with benches to sit on, signify and individualize en- trances at the joints of the housing units. A natural fence helps control the intimacy of this outdoor lobby. In between the pieces of the mosaic, a few planters of different shapes with lawn and native plants, mostly attached to the ground floor facade of the building, provide privacy for the more exposed bedrooms.
In transition from the northern open space to the southern community garden, a path in between the buildings connects both areas and marks the transition from the hardscape of the entrance to the softscape of the garden with pavement pieces that are increasingly spaced out to let the lawn appear.
In the garden the proportion of paved surface and greenery is reversed. Homothetic polygonal surfaces similar to the ones in the paved mosaic of the entrance become paved surfaces and water elements, as the pool. All the planted or hard surfaces and canopy elements are linked and articulated by a low element, sometimes a wall, sometimes and edge or a sitting element. The condensation of elements along this line adds an unknown calligraphy to the lawn, that changes at night with the low lightening of all the urbanization elements.