Almajarra

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Historical recovery and urban continuity 

Urban continuity is necessary, also in the metropolitan scale. That means it is essential to give urban value to the relation between Murcia and the close towns as well as to the main long distances transport infrastructure.

How and with what elements can it be created these conditions of urbanity? Through the citizens connections which are the “authentic avenues where slow vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians can walk from one neighborhood to another in the best urban conditions”. The strategy consists in the historic image walkway recovering, reinforcing the role of the trees and the public use of the street too. To achieve this objective, it is completely necessary to redistribute and/or to move the private vehicles. So the project proposal is to develop a new path parallel to the A-30. A new access road will be obtained, cross over the N-301a.

The aim of the new traffic system is to be coherent with the capillary structure of the murcian local Huerta crops.

Near the El Palmar Avenue, this system focus on new central spaces conceived as squares. New architecture facilities and mixture of activities design these places. New public transport as bus and tram are included in the avenue so these squares are also thought as intermodal transport points. With new economic activities and parking places as well as new housing typologies, the 3 Km long avenue is transformed in a new metropolitan avenue.

The street recovers its walkway atmosphere and the natural contact between pedestrian, cyclists and public transport users. In the sense of urbanization, the sidewalks are extended to transform the urban space in a truly new avenue.

An open game

The project is organized according to 7 optional movements which can be repeated and executed at different times.

  1. The reurbanization of the street, reinforcing the public value and its movements.
  2. The functional  squares which act as articulation points. These spaces organized the new vehicle accessibility around new urban activities and parking areas and they cover sectors of 200 meters large.
  3. The gates exposed on the new infrastructure (A-30).They are the new entrances to the main ways to el Palmar area and they link with the metropolitan avenue. It consists on a mosaic of isolated pieces that offer a good formula to start new real state investments from different initiatives and sizes and from diverse financial structure so they can incorporate different scale promotions.
  4. Inflections are vertical points of the urban axis. Marking the changing character of the avenue, these inflection spaces intertwine singular activities.
  5. Corners are street points deformed because different access streets to the crops joint in the avenue. These corners are of great interest because they offer large and permeable spaces as well as the crops geometry appear.
  6. The opening points are points of exploring colors and smells. Opening points are called to the new green parks and gardens opened to the street and bounded by sculptural architecture always permeable on the ground floor.
  7. And finally, we have the architectural beacons that emerge from the dominant horizontal and whose singularity extends from its materiality to its activities. This points are clearly new metropolitan references.

New squares are spaces that work by contiguity, looking for variety and accepting the flexible chance because they do not trust in the strict regulations determinism. This does not mean a defense of arbitrariness or neither renunciar to the environmental coherence that it is needed in an urban area of these conditions.

The new positions are based on functional paths and roads parcel division characteristic of Murcia’s playing the equity and making profitable economic value in the metropolitan construction. The shapes and sizes of new urban spaces reinvent a relationship between empty and full space, which is free and varied, and suggests ways to urbanization still agricultural, ecological or water.

Short-listed

Title: Almajarra

Project Name: “Ideas competition for the new Murcia city access design from Avenida de El Palmar”

Location: Murcia, Spain

Date:  2011

Category: Urban regenerating

Surface: 90 ha aprox.

Organizer: Gerencia de Urbanismo, Ayuntamiento de Murcia.

Team: Alvaro Cuéllar, Julian Galindo,  Anna Gutiérrez and Helena Sanz

Collaborators: Miquel Camacho and Max Gimeno  (Architecture students)

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