Josep Mias Gifre / Mias Arquitectes: Banyoles’ old town used to be a deteriorated area in which vehicles and pedestrians cohabitated around a urban system of narrow streets and old sidewalks. The irrigation canals that originally were clean had become part of the sewer system of the city. Around the Central Square there were also sidewalks in which cars parked randomly. The process was to “pedestrianize” the whole area, removing all the old sidewalks. The new intervention is made with travertine stone. This calcareous stone has always been present in the city’s subsoil. All the enigmatic buildings, churches, medieval houses or monuments were also raised with travertine.
The departing point is to cover the Central Square (the most relevant part of the project) using a tessellation of travertine. The proliferation of this tiling arrives to the streets and minor squares in different phases of the project.
On the other hand, the irrigation system is uncovered intermittently across the pedestrian ways.
Landscape Architecture: Josep Mias Gifre / Mias Arquitectes
Location: Banyoles, Girona, Spain
Project: 1998. Competition: First prize
Area: 18.000 m²
Project team: Judith Segura, Sophie Lambert, Sven Holzgreve, Thomas Westerholm, Oliver Bals, Marta Cases, Julie Nicaise, Lluís A. Casanovas, Anna Mallén, Bárbara Fachada, Marco Miglioli, Josep Puigdemont, Fausto Raposo, Adriana Porta, Mafalda Batista, Mario Blanco.
Models: Emanuela Scano, Stefania Carboni, François de Montgolfier, Dafna Servadio, Nina Dorici, Blanca Rieder, Patrick Hitzberger.
Consulting: Albert Ribera (technical architect), Josep Masachs (engineer).
Text: Mias Arq
Photos: Adrià Goula