BUILDING COMMUNITIES, RMIT Master of Urban Design
Master of Architecture Design Studio 2021
Prat Vermell, Barcelona
Studio led by Professors Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores, coordinated by Ian Nazareth, October 20th – December 16th 2021
El Prat Vermell is a neighbourhood in the western part of Barcelona, near the Harbor. The area has historically played an important role in the provision of food in the city, as it was a large meadow with agricultural and livestock use. During the late nineteenth century it began to be occupied by industry, first textile, then automotive, and today it is in the process of being transformed as an area for new housing and offices.
The new Plan by the Urban Department of Barcelona, which guides this transformation, does not give any value to the existing constructions, and decided for its total demolition before thinking about its future.
The Urban Design studio “Building Communities” proposes the rethinking of two essential themes: how the remaining heritage fabric can participate of an urban reconversion of the neighbourhood and how to incorporate agricultural uses in the area, rather than the material and cultural erasure that the Urban Department of Barcelona plans for the sector. For its dimensions and firm construction, the remaining industrial settlements can provide an alternative future city full of rich solutions, in the same way that cropping and farming allow us rethinking on self-sufficency and the relation between agriculture and the city.