The renovated Turó de la Rovira wins the European Prize for Urban Public Space

The project, which aims to restore a historic viewing point of the city of Barcelona, was carried out by a group of Catalan architects in 2011. The prize is shared with the project to renovate the banks of the River Ljubljanica, in Ljubljana (Slovenia).

CNA / Gemma Nieto

May 4, 2012 09:51 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The landscaping and the improvement of accessibility to the Turó de la Rovira in Barcelona has won the 2012 European Prize for Urban Public Space ex aequo with the renovation of the banks of the River Ljubljanica that flows through Ljubljana's old city centre, in Slovenia. The judges met in Barcelona to choose the winners among 347 projects presented by 36 different European countries. The CCCB (Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona) created the award in the year 2000 to enhance the recovery or the creation of public spaces in European cities.

The Turó de la Rovira was built during the Spanish Civil War as a defense against air attacks from the Fascist air forces. When the war ended, the place was abandoned for a while, until the remains were used to construct a squatter settlement known as ‘Els Canons’ (The Canyons). Over decades ‘Els Canons’ became the home of immigrant Spanish workers who built more than a hundred shanty dwellings. For Barcelona's 1992 Olympic Games the remains were demolished and the place ended up as a public viewpoint full of graffiti and rubbish.

Architectural work on the Turó de la Rovira aimed to minimize the impact on the existing features of the hilltop while bringing out its different layers of meaning by restoring and improving accessibility to the place. The project was carried out in 2011 by different Catalan architects: Jansana, De la Villa, De PAAW, Arquitectes SLP I AAUP, and Jordi Romero i associats. The award ceremony will take place in the CCCB on June 29th.