Landscape restoration of the Garraf Controlled Waste Landfill in Barcelona
The progressive recovery of life in the old landfill, configuring a new agricultural landscape through topography, hydrology and vegetation.
The Waste Treatment Centre (WTC) is located on a slope of the mountainous Coll Cardús, in the municipality of Vacarisses, in the region of the Western Vallés. The complex is designed to minimize its impact on the environment by adapting to the topography, by using energy generated in the building itself, and by turning the roof surface into a mosaic of plants.
This site was occupied by the facilities of a controlled waste depot at the limit of exhausting its capacity. This fact meant that the management entity of the controlled deposit considered it necessary to regulate the closure of the same and to study the possible future uses of the zone. The selection of the WTC site was made taking into account logistical and economic suitability criteria, as well as minimizing the environmental impact of the installation and the operation of activities related to waste management.
The activity of the pre-existing landfill had not been respectful with its immediate surroundings and had caused alterations in the natural environment and modifications in the existing topography. For this reason, it was decided to implant the installations in the zones where the activity of the landfill had already deteriorated the natural environment.
In spite of the magnitude of the WTC installations, the project aims to achieve maximum landscape integration with the environment. For this reason, a màximum topographic adaptation is sought, in which the impact of the roofs and facades is minimized by the subsequent replanting of the landscape. The building takes advantage of the water and energy generated by the installation itself. The water used comes mainly from the collection of rainwater and the waters from the treatment plant, and the energy is obtained from the biogas generated by the wastes that are in the deposit of Coll Cardús.
The project involves the construction of a large roof under which the two large treatment areas are located. These, separated by the access route, have diferent heights and are seated on different dimensions, which is why the roof modifies its geometry according to the design and dimensions of each enclosure.
The variety of requirements that the roofing has to accommodate —forced ventilation, skylights, etc.— is homogenized by a structure that converts it into a landscape roof. The different circles that make up image contain land, gravel and species of groundcover plants from the local region that will, over time, balance the impact of the installations without falling into camouflage or imitation.