The landfill used to be an ensemble of slopes with earth covering the waste beneath but, until the moment of development of the project, without final capping.
The main aim of the landfill restoration project was to convert the site in a public space, a kind of “metropolitan park” that could integrate the landfill to the surrounding landscape and corresponding vegetal species, and which was simultaneously close to city centres and located in the countryside.
To begin with, the project implied diverse challenges, technical, environmental and of landscape design. The resolution of the technical problems of capping gave way to a path through a terraced and sloped structure. As the restoration project was conceived as a Metropolitan Park due to the Valley’s proximity to city centres, but which is at the same time inside the Garraf Natural Park, special attention was paid to the road leading to it and the parking lot.
Regarding the original idea of converting the site in a new landscape, the architects focused on three main features: topography, hydraulics and vegetation. For the hydraulic necessities a draining system composed of channels of rainwater and cisterns was installed in the banks, while the vegetation and topography requirements included using resilient species that would easily adapt to the territory and, eventually, to scarceness of water. Also, to consolidate the continuity of the terraces with the Natural Park, different crops were cultivated on the slopes, to make them later expand to the surroundings and to integrate with the rest of the landscape.
However, the main objective of the whole project was not only to recuperate the landfill and convert it in a public space integrated to the National Park landscape, but mainly to bring conscience about which kind of attitude society as a whole should adopt regarding the environment.
Not only does this demonstrate great commitment and a great example of recycling – it builds further on Barcelona’s credo of taking the surrounds seriously and creating a positive legacy.
The Vall d’en Joan is located in the Natural Park of Garraf, in the county of Baix Llobregat, just half an hour from White Line Hotels™ edit HOTEL OMM, Barcelona.
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All images © Batlle i Roig Arquitectes