19 Apr 2011

Landscape Restoration

Project: Landscape Restoration of Landfill - La Vall d'en Joan
Landscape Architect: Batlle i Roig (Architects)
El Garraf Natural Park, Barcelona, Spain
Area: 150 ha
Completion: 2008
Cost: 26,000,000 Euros

A 150 hectare land fill site, south-west of Barcelona, has been transformed into a green terraced agricultural landscape by Spanish architects Batlle i Roig. The project named La Vall D'en Joan (Valley of Joan) was started in 2000 & completed in 2008, in which year it won the Energy, Waste & Recycling category at the World Architecture Festival, which was held in Barcelona.

Joan Roig of Batlle i Roig Architects has said: "The idea was to create a system of hills and banks in a way that would avoid erosion from water and to give the rubbish dump back to nature with a natural design." (CNN)

The landfill site had been used by the whole of Barcelona's metropolitan area for the last 30 years, with over 20 million tonnes of waste spread across the site. In some areas they had to dig down over 100 metres before they reached soil. The whole site has now been made very sustainable; there is an underground drainage system used to remove contaminated waste fluids from the rubbish & filter it so that the water can be used to irrigate the park. Bio gas emitted from the rubbish is also used on site to create energy.

Part of the design was to keep some of the rubbish above ground, contained in steel cages, marking the entrance to the park. These act as a constant reminder to visitors of the history of the site. The project was described by the World Architecture Festival judges as being: "a perfect example of bringing dead nature back to life by converting rubbish into a beautiful piece of landscape architecture...using few and humble means". (CNN)

Images courtesy of Landezine.com

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