LocationRambla de Sant Francesc, Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain
Design TeamRui Santos, Eva Cotman
From the architect. The new Sant Francesc Boulevard brings the vineyards landscape of the Penedès region into the heart of Vilafranca and improves the versatility of this central space, scenery of many important urban events. The Sant Francesc Boulevard is the most important civic space in the center of the town. Due to its proportion it could be considered more a lounge than a boulevard. During the years it has been the collector of many important events in town (fairs, markets, concerts,…).
Our project covers a traumatic break for the town: the construction of an underground parking that entailed the logging of all the existing trees, robbing the people of Vilafranca a pleasant shadow and a strong community symbol. Symbology, centrality, memory and functionality. Complementary strategies to connect citizens with this important public space.
Symbology and Centrality.
We have reproduced a piece of the wine-producing landscape of Penedès in an exercise of form alabs traction, trying to promote the role of the town as showcase and wine capital of the region. The floor design has also a great potential of plastic expression. Its singularity gives to the space the perception of centrality.
Memory and Functionality.
We provide a new urbanization for a place which is a landmark in the collective imaginary but suffered a traumatic disfigurement recently. Our project tries to take advantages of this emotional connection in a new way. It establishes a perceptive continuity to bring back a part of its lost memory. Treesare a key element. Many uses are possible thanks to the great versatility given to the space.