Cádiz, 2009. Two-stage International Open Ideas Competition, 2nd Stage

Carola Antón in collaboration with Maria Arquero de Alarcón.

Investor: Consejería de Vivienda y Ordenación del Territorio de la Junta de Andalucía, Dirección General de Urbanismo, y el Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Alcalá de los Gazules (Cádiz).

The competition required the quality improvement of the northern slope of Alcal’a de los Gazules: the design of a park integrating a solution for connectivity in order to solve this part of town’s today isolation; this included the development of large underground parking structure and a new conception of the area’s entire transport system.

Alcalá de los Gazules possesses a strategic location, surrounded by 5 rivers and a rich source of springs, streams, and water lines forming or adapted to the topography. It is also located in the middle of a cork oak natural park.

Gazules etymology is believed to have its origin in the name of Berber warriors.

The intervention in the northern slope, which is of important historical significance, aims to reconcile Alcalá with its past, its geology and its vegetation through a “collar”. This “collar” functions as a complex intervention of different levels, far removed from a beautification strategy. The park is conceived as a place to discover, the same way that jewelry provides information about tribal membership in the Berber culture, and incorporates a rich symbolism associated with colors, numbers, forms, and drawings into its designs.

The project unfolds on the northern slope extending from the higher part of the old town towards the Barbate River through small paths and roads drawing the topography of the landscape.

The large underground lot is designed to fit under the actual Paseo in several levels, giving access to the city and park at different heights. From the old fabric, a spacious Paseo is followed in height by a paved square that can function as a bypass to regulate current traffic problems. Vegetation in different densities builds a stratification leading towards the lower area: the river.

Centro histórico de Alcalá de los Gazules

Competition 2nd Stage 2009