A project of an Aquatic Centre for public bathing, any type of sport, leisure, relaxation and recreational swimming pool.
Register: OCT/11/2021, Submit: NOV/02/2021, Eligibility: Architecture students enrolled during 2021; individually, teams of several architecture students or multidisciplinary teams with at least one architecture student, Fee: Free, Awards: 1st Prize: 2,000 EUR, 2nd Prize: 1,000 EUR, 3rd Prize: 500 EUR
Fira Barcelona organises Piscina & Wellness Barcelona Fair every two years, bringing together the main companies and professionals related to the water, swimming pool and wellness sector worldwide. The latest news, research and products are exhibited at the fair, as well as the latest present and future trends in the water sector through conferences and exhibitions. Within this context, the Fair is seeking to go a step further, searching for new contributions and trends in keeping with the philosophy of the space and related to the enjoyment of water from the standpoint of future architects; to this effect, it is organising an international competition aimed at architecture students, to enable them to express new ways of understanding the relationship between human beings, architecture and water.
An installation area has been defined in Gaudí Square in Barcelona, Spain, bordered off by the Mallorca, Provenza, Marina and Lepanto streets. Within this space, the contestants will carry out their project using all or part of the space.
The area is located in the Eixample district of Barcelona and it forms part of the so-called Cerdà Plan. The competition will take place opposite the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, a landmark in Barcelona and a must-see in one of Spain’s chief tourist destinations.
The Sagrada Familia Cathedral
The Sagrada Familia Cathedral is the most emblematic monument in the city of Barcelona and the foremost example of Catalan modernist architecture. Still under construction, it is regarded as the masterpiece of the architect Antonio Gaudí and the Nativity façade and the crypt have been World Heritage Sites since 2005 (these are the only parts the architect was able to complete during his lifetime).
The basilica, initially conceived in a neo-Gothic style, soon became the most representative work of Catalan Modernism, once Gaudí took over the project in 1883. It has an innovative design that represents a turning point in the architect’s career, with a predominance of helicoidal surfaces and curved planes, proof of the constant search for the concept of natural design that features in his work. Gaudí planned the construction of 18 towers, the tallest 172.5 metres high, making the building the tallest church in the world. The work is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2026.
A pioneering project to upgrade and expand Barcelona, the Cerdà Plan envisaged a homogeneous structure in the form of a grid that sought a balance between urban and rural life and equality, not only in terms of the social classes, but also to facilitate movement, anticipating the current traffic flow problems facing large cities as early as 1860. The engineer and developer Ildefonso Cerdà created a new concept of urban planning based on a grid of octagonal chamfered blocks, limiting heights and freeing up spaces with wide streets and green areas.
A project of an Aquatic Centre is proposed, suitable for public bathing, any type of sport, leisure, relaxing, recreational swimming pool, etc., chosen by the contestant using their own judgement.
Solutions that reflect on the value of water for health, the environment and as a symbolic and essential reference element for the life of the planet will be valued. In this regard, the contribution of sustainable concepts in the architectural proposal will be important.
The solutions provided can introduce new ideas to the traditional way in which these types of spaces have so far been understood, proposing, if deemed appropriate, innovative ways of relating to water.
The project will take into account its unique location within the geometry of the Cerdà Plan’s blocks and its formal and visual relationship with the emblematic Sagrada Familia building.
It should be borne in mind that, when the action is proposed in a green area of Barcelona, even though it is architectural in nature, the rest of the landscaped space must be arranged and resolved from the standpoints of biodiversity and the relationship between architecture, city and landscape as defined in the 2020 Barcelona Green and Biodiversity Plan.
The project will functionally resolve accesses, interior routes, changing rooms and complementary spaces necessary for the use of water spaces for public bathing and for the management of an aquatic centre of these characteristics. As it is a theoretical exercise, there is no limitation on buildability, heights or build volume.
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