Situated at the intersection of the large axes of Barcelona  (Gran Vià, Diagonal and Meridiana) that were introduced by Idelfons Cerdà, the Plaza of the Catalan Glory was the subject of an international competition, won by Agence Ter. This winning project, named the Urban Canopy (Canopia Urbana) is based on a strategy with three main objectives:

Primarily, developing an urban eco-system that hybridizes city and nature. Secondly, creating a synergic relationship between the underground, the city-ground and the horizons of the metropolis. This vertical relationship regards natural systems as well as human experience.  Finally, offering a space that is able to host both the activities that are linked to an urban square as well as those found in a park.

Glòries, because of its location on the crossing of the main axes of Cerdà, because of its dimensions (around 15ha), and because of its status of an urban space calling for a more significant metropolitan role, is the unique opportunity to develop this strategy.

1 – The first action is to optimize the continuous character of the ground. Without any interruption with the surrounding neighbourhoods, this continuous ground unfolds itself like an open plan that is practically horizontal, authorizing all transits,capable of a maximum versatility.

2 – The second action is to re-establish the natural exchanges between the skyline and the underground, by fertilizing and de-mineralizing the surface, currently mainly impermeable and sterile. This action allows for hydraulic and biological exchanges, vertical as well as horizontal, which are the fundamental conditions for a living space to emerge, bio-diverse and able to act as a strong climatic regulator.

3 – The third action proposes a canopy of vegetation. Within the thickness of the « vélum construit » of Barcelona defined by Cerdà (28m), this canopy articulates the green and civic axes of East-Barcelona (Sagrera-ciutadella, Carretera de ribes-Clot, Rec comtal and Diagonal).  With its generous dimensions, the ‘Urban Canopy’ forms strong ecological connections and aids climate regulation.

4 – The fourth action is that of intensification, expressed by a constellation of nodes that punctuate the space of the park. Some ‘vertical nodes’ act as intensifiers of biodiversity and highlight the direct connection with the canopy, others are links between the infrastructural underground and the urban ground  (jardi d’immersio – sortidas metro) or the ground and the metropolitan skyline (node skywalker) and finally ‘macro-nodes’ that host activities, facilities and specific functions, potentially enclosed.

Finally, the completion of the diagonal line as the major axis is the ultimate action of the project strategy.

  • Client: City of Barcelona + Barcelona d'Infraestructures Municipals SA
  • Project management: Agence Ter (Lead consultant) + Ana Coello de Llobet + Factors de Paisatge / Manuel Colominas + Estudi Xavier Mayor + JG Ingenieros + Frances Xairo associats SL + Agence Nez haut + Yannick Troubat + Transsolar + Julien Combes + EFILM + Szomastudio
  • Area: 15 ha
  • Date: 2014 - 2021
  • Amount: 35 M€ HT (park)
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain

BARCELONA / Plaça de les Glories “CANOPIA URBANA”