Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Urban Elevator in Echavacoiz, Spain by ah asociados
January 6th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: ah asociados
This project emerge from an R+D+I study on Pedestrian Mobility in “Echavacoiz Norte”, commissioned by the City Council of Pamplona to the Innovation Department of ah asociados. In this research, three critical areas with historical accessibility and urban integration problems were detected and could be solved by implementing mechanical systems.
One of these three critical areas was to resolve the precarious pedestrian ramp access and stairs which overcome thirty meters height difference between levels. These accesses were also used by neighbors of “Urdanoz Group” to reach the elevated area where there was a perimeter walkway and the neighborhood of “Echavacoiz Norte”.
This project was intended to solve current accessibility problems through two footbridges and a lift, which turned into an urban reference of the integration of Echavacoiz into the city and into an object sensible to its own urban landscape. This has been possible by linking the upper pathway with the river park and with the future neighborhood of the AVE.
The pathway along the Elorz River and the one to the neighborhood encountered in the bridge. This made it possible to introduce new pedestrian and cyclist roads between the two urban levels and implement an architectural element that turned the panoramic footbridge and the panoramic tower into one.
The project enhances the simplicity of each element, avoiding any excess of constructive formalism. The great structural effort of the uneven footbridge has been solved by a robust section that extends between its bases and creates an image of an arcade opened to the new neighborhood.
The basic shape of the footbridge is formed by a continued beam from which the supports of the footbridge pavement are born. This pavement has been made of sheet metal plates. The exterior of the beam and the lateral levels of the tower are also covered by a folded steel plate to get visual continuity to enhance the urban character of an element that emerges from the hill and is supported by the head of the footbridge.
The horizontal part of the bridge turns into vertical where it meets the tower, in such a way that the format of steel structure element and steel skin is repeated. The asymmetry of the footbridge protects the pedestrians of wind and let them see a new territory whilst the vertical element is robust and strong in its lateral levels. The landings opened to the landscape with the minimum expression of materials.
The two main features of this project are formal simplicity and clear structure. These two define an element that is converted into a reference, a gate and a connection between two urban realities that are no longer separated by a topography that caused marginalization and now union.
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