Millefeuilles in Vall Aran

From the sky control area to the al equipped park

Tourism should stop being a «tourist product» pre-engineered to be an activity that must interact to evolve. This requires thinking about relationships, at least three:

1.-Relationship between tourism and the environment in which it operates.

2.- The relationship between functional programs  offered by tourism tours and characteristics of place.

3.-Finally, differentiate and recognize the relationship between tourist access and internal displacement.


From the valley to the mountain’s top

The division in vegetation and landscape layers is a self-condition of the Vall Aran territory. This stratification responses to the traditional way of urban growths and economical activities development. As a result, the proposal is an exploitation of the resources adapted to the altitude and according to the productive cycle development.

In the valley, we find the villages. On the lower slopes, the construction in terraces allows the agricultural production of grain and grass. At the top of the slopes, the forests and the forestry are the main activity. Finally, in the high meadows of the top, we find the extend pastures.


At this reading, what happens to the transitions in between layer spaces?

If we let the current approach continues, one possible extreme future is the specialization of the actual layers and the creation of a lineal city in the valley with productive zones. That means unique segregated areas that break with the traditional territorial dynamics.

Instead of this future, the proposal focuses on this intermediate and transition spaces. The strategy is to recover the Tuca and Vielha-Betrem unit as a territorial entity. The intermediate layers are the opportunity spaces where new and complementary activities are introduced to reactivate the territorial dynamics. From the valley to the top.

Three inter-layers are proposed:

_The technological and sporty

_The forest exploitation and new R & D companies

_The leisure activities

Once these inter-layers are defined, the morfo-goegraphical elements of each layer are recognized. Then, the mobility and accessibility elements appropriate to move around each layer. Finally, the proposal explores different activities and landscapes that can be generated in each layer. Based on this analysis, a set of intervention mechanisms are proposed to each layer. This mechanisms are involved with the preservation or transformation of the landscape, with the mobility network expansion over the territory, and also with the disposition of new activities or future urban growths.

The poster presents a new look at the territory understanding the role of all the layers and inter-layers as spaces of opportunity to recover the territorial unit vision. Thus, the first inter-layer, next to Vielha-Betren, is the Tuca’s Park gate conceived as a landing place. So, here there are parking areas, information points, the funicular station, etc. In the next inter-layer we propose new non seasonal activities such as a new sports university or other leisure facilities for Vielha’s citizens. After the forest, a new facilities point is located from which people can access to the different paths. Reaching the top, there is another activities point conceived as a viewpoint from which people can enjoy the valley and the landscape.

Title: Millefeuilles “aranès” (Vall Aran region)

Project Name: Re-opening la Tuca. Mountain tourism. City and territory

Location: La Tuca, Vielha, Vall Aran, Spain.

Date: january 2012

Category: Territorial planning

Organizer: Restricted competition for Etsab students

Team: Anna Gutiérrez, Joan Moreno, Luís Cea, Ana Juliá, Elena Zaera

Coordinators: Alvaro Cuéllar, Julián Galindo

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