Mariona Blanch + Marta Mayoral 8 portes

Source: Mariona Blanch + Marta Mayoral Title: 8 portes. Centre d'interpretació i investigació a les mines de Can Palomeres, Malgrat de MarSchool: Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Vallès (ETSAV-UPC)Tutor: Isabel Castiñeira Palou, Josep Ricart UlldemolinsLocation: Malgrat de Mar, Barcelona, SpainYear: 2022 - 2023Link: UPCommons
Date: November 28, 2023 Category: Academic

The mines of Can Palomeres are an example of the positive relationship that has existed between human extraction activities of a resource and the formation of an important ecological refuge. Thanks to the mining activity that took place in the early 20th century in Malgrat de Mar, the remains of the excavated spaces have become the habitat for one of the most biodiverse bat colonies in Catalonia.

The project proposes a new heritage park that provides facilities to the mountain along an existing circular route. The necessary program, including a heritage mining interpretation center and a research center for the bat colony, is implemented and distributed across eight interventions along the way. The chosen locations for the new volumes are always in front of the mine entrances, creating “gateway buildings” that establish an atmospheric transition between the exterior of the mountain and the interior of the excavated spaces.

The “gateway building” archetype consists of two autonomous and opaque volumes that fit with the specific topography of each site; the space between them indicates the entrance to the mine. This transitional space with poor light enhances the user’s visual sensitivity and provides a more perceptible experience inside the mine.

The construction of the buildings begins with a highly controlled prior excavation using the principle of hydraulic force. The extracted resource is used for the construction of the new load-bearing walls, mixing the extracted stones with aggregate, limestone and cement. The interior atmosphere isolates the observer from the path, creating a dark and mystical atmosphere where the only source of natural light is filtered through the surrounding vegetation.

Climatically, inside the mines, the temperature remains constant (approximately 14°C). The temperature difference between the interior and exterior increases the rate of air exchange in front of the mine entrances. The climatic functioning of the new buildings is guaranteed during the summer by the infiltration of this air into the programmed spaces, whereas in winter the massive walls’ inertia is activated, heating the spaces by natural radiation.

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