Intervention in the Historic Centre històric of Lleida
Client: Generalitat de Catalunya; Ajuntament de Lleida; Incasol
Year of project: 1982 (Pla Especial, Mur i Torre d’ascensors); 1985 (Parc Màrius Torres); 1990 (Col•legi Cervantes); 1997 (28 habitatges i aparcament El Roser)
Obra: 1983-1985(Pla Especial, Mur, Torre d’ascensors i Parc Màrius Torres); 1995 (Col•legi Cervantes); 2001 (El Roser)
Area: aprox. 10.000 m²
Lenght wall: 500 m
Awards: Premi Nacional d’Urbanisme 1985 (Pla Especial); Nominats pel Premi San Pedro de Alcántara (Mur i Torre); Seleccionat per a la Segona Biennal Espanyola 1992 (Col•legi Cervantes)
Lleida city suffered urban cancer in the historic centre owing to the continuing wars that had ravished the city since the 15th century and until the Spanish Civil War. In 1950, the old cathedral still bore witness to its use as barracks, and destruction and poverty surrounded this jewel of mediaeval architecture. Following the transition to democracy, a team formed by architects J. Busquets, r. Amadó, Ll. Domènech and R. M. Puig, along with the economist Carles Kinder and the lawyer Tomás Pou, won the contract to draw up the special plan for the historic centre. The basic idea of the scheme, inspired by Joan Busquets, was to plan and draw up a unique project simultaneously under the supervision of the administration in order to lend impetus to the operation in general and to encourage the flow of private capital. The project focussed on the area known as El Canyeret. Initially, one needs to conceive el Canyeret as a desolate land with no streets or infrastructure and a very steep slope covered in clay debris which, al the slightest rainfall, slid down to the Plaça de Sant Joan. The radical idea was to cut off the slope with a containing wall to form a usable plot at a height near to that of Plaça de Sant Joan. The area thus obtained would make it possible to accommodate the amenities needed and also afforded additional urban development potential for the private initiative buildings right next to the square, all connected by a road guaranteeing access. In order to enable pedestrians with a direct link between lower level roads and the cathedral, a lift was the preferred alternative. Sketching the future wall in straight sections imitated the line of the wall from the 18th century and therefore changed the reading of the monumental ensemble. We decided to sketch a curved, giving the wall a variable height which to the western ens was less obvious and was arranged in order to allow connecting road between the upper part and lower part of El Canyeret.