The passage of the high-speed train (TGV) in the city center of Vilafranca del Penedés takes advantage of the existing railway layout and is placed alongside the current tracks of Renfe. The new set of tracks occupies a very important space in the center of the city, and its covering establishes the chance of re-designing the city and defining and consolidating its urban structure.
The covering of the tracks allows the recovery of a large free space that runs along the city, creating a space of new urban centrality, which makes the railway station more accessible to all citizens.
This area has the opportunity to improve the railway’s layout enhancing the environmental relationship between the train and the city, which, at the moment, is very deteriorated by noise and the presence of catenaries. Vilafranca is currently divided into two sectors due to these train tracks and their platforms. This new public space will allow a new urban connection between the two sectors of an estimated extension of 11 Ha and 2 kilometers length. The improvement in connectivity and the recovery of the new public space is a new urban condition that has long been desired by the citizens of Vilafranca del Penedès.
The project of the large urban park includes multiple uses such as: sports areas, play areas, urban gardens, parking areas, fairground, amphitheater and multiple groves. The groves have a special importance since they give this space distinct quality.
At present, 2.4 ha of the total 11 ha of the project have been implemented. This first phase has incorporated more than 400 trees, has increased permeable soil from 20% to 50% and has given the city a new space of centrality and recreation.
AUTHORS ENRIC BATLLE, JOAN ROIG, IVÁN SÁNCHEZ – ARCHITECTS CLIENT VILAFRANCA DEL PENEDÉS CITY COUNCIL TEAM JOAN BATLLE, LIVIA VALENTINI – ARCHITECTS / DOLORS FEU, YAGO CAVALLER – AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERS & LANSCAPE ARCHITECTS COLLABORATORS SBS – MEP ENGINEERING BUILDER ROGASA SURFACE AREA 23.979 SQ. M PROGRAM PUBLIC SPACE LOCATION VILAFRANCA DEL PENEDÉS START AND FINISH DATE 2014-2016 PHOTOGRAPHY JORDI SURROCA