Las Térmicas Del Besós
Thermal Power Plant Redevelopment | Barcelona Beach Resort
SCI_Arc | Seven weeks
Like many waterfront areas around the globe, Barcelona is in the process of re-examining the consequences of long term industrial production, warehousing, and the contaminant record of environmental pollution [vis a vis the replacement of these functions with resort, entertainment, residential, and recreational purposes along the Mediterranean coast].
By far the largest and most promising water front venues is the Termicas Thermal Power Plant Project. The “three chimney” thermal plant, a grandiose piece of industrial engineering and concrete construction, is a highly visible [perhaps the most visible] constructed object in Barcelona.
The plant was built between 1970 and 1976, and ceased operation in 2011.
The project is to re-make Las Termicas.
With the inherent iconicity of Las Termicas, the question of what should be preserved, what should be removed, what should be modified, and what should be added, determined the reconstitution of the three towers.
The act of cutting revealed unique geometric properties hidden within the towers, giving each its own distinct characteristic. This action defined a bounding box of preservation, revealed the interior of the towers as the new exterior condition, and opened the back face of the towers to the Mediterranean Sea.
The leftover pieces were re-utilized to make unique landscape conditions on site and a new road that redirected traffic through the site and back to the city. This new road connects existing public arenas, itntroduces commercial and residential life to the beach front, and shields the industrial part of Barcelona to the rear.
The building as a whole can be read as an amalgamation of six unique towers. The three new volumes gently guard [or hug] the old chimneys while re-defining the Barcelona skyline.