Text description provided by the architects. Neighborhood revitalization and preserving the elements of industrial heritage are the aims of this urban project being undertaken in the La Soledat area of Palma, Majorca. Proposal is being developed in several stages after winning the open competition in 2005 and consisting in urban general development, public spaces and main square, industrial heritage restoration and future social housing.
Dedicated to the production of wool blankets, the Can Ribas factory was built in 1851 in the La Soledat neighborhood to the east of Palma. Located in an area outside the city walls, the military administration required the factory be built on a provisional basis, which manifests itself in the bays’ system of walls with pilasters and in the simplicity and rationality of the complex’s construction. In the 1970’s, after successive expansions and transformations, the factory’s obsolescence led textile production to be abandoned. There were also other highly significant changes around the La Soledat neighborhood which also created another barrier that further increased the neighborhood’s physical isolation.
With its organization as an enclosed area, the Can Ribas factory had become a barrier dividing the La Soledat neighborhood in two. The plan to restructure La Soledat seeks to open the industrial area to neighborhood. In 2003 the Special Plan for Interior Reform (PERI) drafted by Joan Busquets only the main bay, earmarked for housing a facility, and the chimney from the Can Ribas industrial complex were protected, and the bays affected by the plan for the new street were slated for demolition. In developing the project, however, the most valuable heritage elements have been recovered and will be integrated into the urban surroundings.
The incorporation of the middle bay, the steam pavilion and the wall of another bay enables recognition of the value of the industrial area shaped by different pavilions that were home to different stages of textile production. A system of openpublic spaces is thus structured by a concrete foundation, which serves to create a visual and physical connection between the new Brotad Street and the historic elements of the Can Ribas factory generating a richer, more complex public space