Santi Julià Xercavins & Bernat Pedro Planas
Sant Bartomeu del Grau (Catalonia, Spain) is marked by the presence of the old factory Hilados y Tejidos Puigneró, that is currently in disuse. In a profuse forest and agricultural environment, the great industrial mass appears as a contradiction in the territory generating an exception and opportunity. It is understood that this 90,000m2 industrial conglomerate can be transformed into an urban fabric that may become part of the site’s metabolism.
The current urban planning, created during the time of the real estate boom in Spain in mid 00’, contemplates a tabula rasa of the whole industrial complex and brand new constructions. The new approach is presented as an alternative that consists in optimizing the existing infrastructure in the event of a hypothetical expansion of the village, through a new regulation of the mass, the void and the technical systems.
A gradual transformation and conditioning of the factory is proposed to generate a new liveable support, using the selective demolition and infiltration of public space as the main strategy.
In 1956 the first sheds of the complex were built and over almost 50 years, there has been a constant addition of new volumes to the apparently anarchic cluster we see today. Throughout these years the village has grown intimately dependent on the factory, until it ceased its production in 2003 due to the lack of market competitiveness, leaving an impenetrable fortress in the heart of Sant Bartomeu del Grau. In the same way the factory evolved over time to adapt to new production demands, we understand that now there has been a paradigm shift and the factory Hilados y Tejidos Puigneró must face one more stage of its metamorphosis.