"Operation Mercedes": Monument to solidary citizenship

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2020.62.6.13

Keywords:

Barcelona, Bon Pastor, Citizenship, Solidarity, Monument, Operation Mercedes, COVID 19

Abstract

The COVID19 pandemic, which is wreaking havoc on global public health, has also meant the adequacy - temporary so far - of the work procedures in university education, both in what affects the teaching and in relation to to the activities to be developed by the students.


The program of the Project Workshop subject of the Master in Urban Design at the University of Barcelona, planned to focus the project activities on what we can call “Operation Mercedes”, a private urban regeneration project in the Barcelona’s neighborhood of Bon Pastor, consisting of converting 90,000 m2 of the former Mercedes-Benz factory site into a residential and office complex.


According to the General Metropolitan Plan (1976) in force in Barcelona, this site is classified as 22a, that is, “Industrial Zone” and since 2007, when Mercedes-Benz stops operating in this factory, it has been one of the few reindustrialization areas in Barcelona . Its sale to the investment group Conren-Tramway, at the end of 2018, once again resuscitates neighborhood fears about the use of these 9 Ha.


Within the framework of the research project HAR2017-88672-R. and the collaboration agreements with the Bon Pastor’s neighborhood association, for a few years we have been introducing themes of public space in the territory, in the subject “Project Workshop” of the Master in Urban Design. Two goals. The first one to explore ideas for solving problems regarding public space with students -mainly foreigners-, operating the Workshop as a “Laboratory of Ideas” while this activities serve as non-curricular practices. Second objective: to contribute project ideas to the residents of Bon Pastor for the management and negotiation of the various actions to be carried out in the neighborhood.


For this reason, the Workshop work for the 2019-2020 academic year was planned to explore the possibilities of public space in this new Urban Regenration operation. The works of the workshop are developed in multidisciplinary teams responding to the previous training of the students.
When the confinement in Spain is decreed in March, we saw almost impossible the development of the planned activities in an online mode. That is why it was decided to vary the topic, focusing it on a Monument to Solidarity Citizenship -which will allow a more individualized approach to work-, but maintaining the territorial reference of the Mercedes-Benz site.

Author Biographies

Jordi Henrich

Architect by ETSAB 1982 (excellent qualification) and Master in Architecture and Building Design by Columbia University of New York 1985, specialization in buildings for public use. Participant in the ILAUD (International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design) in Urbino (1981), a course on architecture and urban public space. Architect of the Urban Projects Service of Barcelona City Council (1987-2004) and architect of the Public Space Service of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (2004-2007). He currently works as a freelance professional on public space and public building projects.

Antoni Remesar, CR POLIS- CRIT research group. Universitat de Barcelona

Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona. Doctor of Fine Arts. Director of the POLIS Research Center (University of Barcelona). Researcher of the CRIT research group (Creativity, Innovation, Urban Transformation) Universitat de Barcelona.

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Published

2020-11-09

How to Cite

Henrich, Jordi, and Antoni Remesar. 2020. “"Operation Mercedes&Quot;: Monument to Solidary Citizenship”. On the W@terfront 62 (9):3-31. https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2020.62.6.13.