Malniu rest area

Landscape intervention in Meranges, La Cerdanya.

Àrea d’estada a Malniu
Àrea d’estada a Malniu

Malniu rest area

The malniu rest area is located above the town of meranges in the Cerdanya region of the Catalan Pyrenees. It is at the head of a mountain trail at an altitude of 6,562 feet above an ancient glacier on the border between sub-alpine woods and alpine areas, next to an existing shelter and an artificial lake.


Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran – Architect


David Closas – Architect


Generalitat de Catalunya, Consell Comarcal de la Cerdanya

Construction company


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Total area

36600 m2

This project sought to consolidate the trail head in order to stop encroachment on nearby summits, to define a parking area, to prevent vehicles from entering adjacent meadows and to resolve a conflict between livestock grazing and visitors to the area seeking a natural environment and contact with nature. The project also sought to provide public restrooms, which were originally spread throughout the area without appropriate criteria or limitation. Right from the beginning, our goal was to anchor ourselves to the specific existing features of the site by using materials that were traditionally used to demarcate properties, such as granite boundary stones, or meadows, such as drystone walls.

We focused on constructing a single zigzagging stone wall adapted to the topography, which defines the parking area by taking advantage of the configuration of existing rocks. This stonewall signals the end of the road and acts as a base for drinking fountains, camp fires and garbage collection installations. The wall ends at a small building with public restrooms. Similar to a Japanese stone garden or Richard Long’s and Robert Smithson’s land art, the rest area is placed inside a circle of boundary stones, which demarcates the intervention by means of a wire fence and prevents cattle from entering the rest área.