The urban form

This over 50 Ha’ s project area is located on a plateau which height is similar to the historical center. From this point, it is possible to have a perfect view of the natural landscape as well of the constructed area. For this reason, this platform is Called “Crown of the crows”. Between this platform and the historical city there is a variable slope which reaches its extreme point about 20 meters higher.

Almost four points explain Jaca’s urban form. The topography took an important part in building a city in different parts. Also, the main access road netwok have created the new “entrances” to the city. The main “attractor” pieces as military sites, the boulevard and at the new winter sports center have defined the actual city. Finally, the public space configuration has been of relevance in the construction of the city as it is seen in the citadel setting or the new boulevard definion.

The construction of a place: The modern agora.

In the ancient cities, the agora was a reference for its inhabitants. It was a meeting place where multiple activities took place an all in tune with its surrounding landscape. Many times, the agora was located in the geographical highest point because its condition of open space and dominant views. Besides, the integration of the civic buildings with the landscape offered a tension in the space that was of an important relevance for the collective society. From this analogy, it seems challenging to think the urban planning of the Levante’ s area as an Agora. It is the occasion to recover that lost value as a collective space and, at the same time, to minimize the visual impact on the top of the plateau. The tops of the city should be collective places!

In relation to the integration with the territory, it is a piece that articulates the future urban growths located between the railway and the highway E7 (N-330) with the city center.

As for mobility and transport, the existing road structure is extended through a diversified network (slopes)

6 project elements

The structure provides 6 types of projects.

a) “The sports agora” is the big piece for sports development (required in the contest rules) and also combined with open public spaces on the “Crown of crows” plateau.
b) “The new city gate” is a new urban front built along the N-330a road. These buildings are adapted to the topography. Commercial use with shop windows is expected to the ground floors.
c) “The counter façade” is a second access to the sports agora placed as next to the historic center. 400 meters are defined by an arcaded section with commercial locals on the ground floor and residential on the rest.
d) “The new main street” is a new walkway adapted to the topography (6% slope) and it represents the extension of the central civic axis coming from the historic center.
e) “The residential skin” is the area with the most important part of the residential fabric. This fabric is structured from the small runoff water that remains open. The project creates different kinds of typologies combination and community spaces.
f) “The schools” is the area near the railway station road and it is reserved for leisure and facilities as well as social infrastructure (schools, daycare, elderly facilities, etc.)

Title: Ágora.

Project Name: Concurso de ideas para la ordenación urbanística del ámbito de levante.

Location: Jaca, Aragón,Spain

Date: March 2011

Programme: City planning

Surface: 53.062 m²

Organizer: Ayuntamiento de Jaca

Team: Alvaro Cuéllar, Anna Gutiérrez.

Collaborators: Jorge Mascaray, Cecilia Prieto,  Ramir Gil, Lucas Elmer Bohringer, Fran Florensa   (Architecture students)

Competition carried out in TOC – Taller Obert de Concursos, at the ETSAB, Escuela Técnica Superior Arquitectura de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.