Valldoreix, New Town Centre

The studio took part in an ideas competition launched by the local council of Valldoreix to make a volumetric and programmatic proposal for a new town centre.

Valldoreix is a place that is characterised by a lack of urban design, following basic suburban rules but suffering a clear lack of consistency in terms of material, grain or style. It was clear that the town needed to solidify its identity as well as provide for the functions associated with a town centre. The source of inspiration for the competition entry was the ‘casco antiguo’, or old town centres typical of Mediterranean villages, principally because of the spatial characteristics created by the dense arrangement of buildings, narrow streets and plazas that people identify with but also because they exist as successful arrangements that were built over a long period of time and under changing economic circumstances.

As a method of understanding the spaces that exist in the ‘casco antiguo’, we referred to the work of Eduardo Chillida which gave us clues to the approach to providing public space within the new development. The result was to cut out and remove space form large singular volumes, where the built volumes and the urban spaces were governed by different programmatic rules.