Llano Amarillo Master Plan. Algeciras, Spain
Competition. 2005 – Mention, selected 2nd phase
Transformation of a rough harbour into a friendly place. The city is given a new vision and relation to the sea, surrounding of great value now denied. Descending movement of the city towards the sea is the principal reason behind this proposal. The city is given a new vision and relation to the sea, surroundings of great value now denied, beginning from the concentration of the principal uses, whether concerning entertainment or various services, in a twisted movement that unifies and merges it into the main nucleus of Algeciras.
Algeciras descends to the sea by means of an urban path. It is an extension of the city which is now being drawn closer to the sea. As a continuation of the Plaza Alta, it passes above the ceiling of the principal edifice, a multipurpose space which is proposed as a continuation, towards the sea. The path continues as an embankment along the Llano Amarillo, nearby the water limit, gently gliding by ascending and descending ways that encompass the following functions: refreshment zone, rowing club, a quay and the commercial zone, the museum of the straits and the center for visitors, permitting a controlled passage of the water. In the distance, Africa.
The Periscope of the Bay emerges here above the Plain, a belvedere tower rising over the city and its harbour, over the Algeciras Bay, over the sea. The promenade unfolds itself above the Llano Amarillo, as one of the three essential threads of the proposal, with a vertebral purpose among the principal green surfaces of the city.
From the Park of María Cristina and the Archaeological Park of the Berber Wall Ruins, the green promenade articulates a succession of green surfaces approaching the Mediterranean Sea towards the future development of the Brick Beach, returning back to itself and accompanying the Avenue of Virgen del Carmen until it meets the Park of Acacias.
As far as the plantations are concerned, and considering the littoral character of the belvedere, the criteria of xero-gardening have been observed, selecting the plants with low irrigation requirements, capable of enduring the bright sunshine and high temperatures, as well as the strong salty winds blowing from the sea.
The selection of the species, many of them indigenous, and their grouping in the function of their water demand support the topographic model, establishing a first defence partition, in the first line of the sea, which permits greater biodiversity in the interior. Meadows based on two species of desalinizating grass are being strategically used in order to offer a hospitable, soft and natural base to a surface which can only be described as barren, rough and artificial.
Alongside with the previous emerges the third thread, sport grounds springing up from the water of the harbour, with activities of rowing and fishing, and it is being formed in a succession of sport activities offered to the city. As a continuation of the rowing club, salt-water swimming pools in the first line give way to fresh-water ones. In their extension there are playing tables and sport grounds supported by a skate line and artificial climbing rocks, as well as a tatami ground. A little higher up, there is a small stadium for programmed activities with facilities for spectators, with gymnasiums and indoor grounds.
Next to these three principal guiding threads there appear other necessary lines that study and activate concrete conditions of circulation, infrastructure and uses. Woven upon the once rough and inhospitable surface, they transform a deteriorated surrounding by discovering an amiable place, active in the relation with the water and the harbour.
dosmasuno arquitectos – Ignacio Borrego, Néstor Montenegro and Lina Toro
Developer: Algeciras Muncipality
Competition: Mention, selected 2nd phase (2005)
Colaborators: Claudia Cardoso and Robert Ochsenfart
Surveyors: Javier Mach y Javier González
Services and Structural engineering: ESTEYCO
Landscape: Rocío Pérez de Arenaza