La Tancada Salt Fields

EMF – Martí Franch: ‘La Tancada’ project sits at the southern tip of River Ebro Delta, Iberian’s Peninsula most important river. The Delta is a crucial step in the Western Europe bird migration route. Over the last century the site has suffered numerous transformations. Originally was a salty intertidal lagoon. In the beginning of s.XX was transformed into a productive salt fields, and in the 80’s turned into a fish farm. The business collapsed and site became property of Catalunya Caixa Bank.


In 2009 Catalunya Caixa Bank nature foundation + Spanish Minister of Environment + Delte de l’Ebre Natural Park + IRTA (Institute of Agricultural research) succeeded in getting a EU’s co-founded LIFE program to restore this site and other nearby natural areas.

Mission & data

This is a 2 in 1 project commissioned by Caixa Bank nature foundation:
– A LIFE Delta lagoon restoration project. 23 ha • 547.000 € • 2,38 €/m2
– And the creation of an Interpretation Centre on Delta Salty landscapes (culture + nature) 3 ha • 376.600 € • 12,5 €/m2

Project statement

Through necessarily unexpensive actions, the design skilfully construes a hybrid of nature and culture that celebrate the site’s peculiarities, both in terms of a manmade performative ecosystems for endangered species and an awarded landscape construct for tourism. It proposes ways to choreograph on-site visitors into a narrative that invites them to explore what’s consubstantial to this peculiar landscape: intertidal lagoons, salt fields and crystallisations, flamingos, terns…


Name of the project: ‘La Tancada’ Salt Fields
Location: Delta de l’Ebre, Tarragona, Espanya
Designer(s): EMF – Martí Franch, D.Fuentealba, G.Batllori, P.Lambán, A.López.
Commissioned by: Catalunya Caixa Foundation
Area: 26 ha
Period of design: 2011
Implementation period: 2012
Photography: Sergi Romero, Martí Franch, Catalunya Caixa Foundation
Project Awards: Urban intervention in exterieur space award, Catalunya. 2013. Responsible Tourism Award, Catalunya. 2013.

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