Urban restoration of Passeig Picasso
Client: Barcelona City Council
Year of project: 1981
The boulevard was the street separating Parc de la Ciutadella from the residential area Josep Fontseré had planned in 1872, where the market of El Born would constitute the hub of activity. The City Council contemplated embarking on a gradual overhaul which entailed redeveloping the street, refurbishing and reusing Fontserè’s aligned porticoed buildings, connecting it with the boulevard of El Born and Santa María del Mar and, lastly, erecting a monument in honour of Picasso at the intersection of these streets, a work entrusted to the artist Antoni Tàpies. The project idea was restricted to seeking a suitable cross section, defined by the boulevard with its rows of plane trees and the lane open to traffic. Halfway along the street, we thought that a narrow, yet very long pond was the best way of addressing the clash between pedestrians and cars, incorporating crossover point. Cooperation with Antoni Tàpies in erecting the monument in honour of Picasso was an intriguing episode on account of the unusual relationship that arose between the two disciplines; on the one hand, that of painter/sculptor, on the other hand, that of architect. Roser convinced Antoni that the giant glass box cube (4x4x4 m) would float, of course, although on water.