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arcitecture bacelor thesis plat-forming tres turons



adham walid zikry 0 1 / 0 8 / 2 0 1 8

Architectue Bachelor Thesis transitions in

the three hills

this bachelor project was done by guc student adham walid zikry and took place in barcelona. spain in escola tecnica superior d’archetechtura de barcelona under the supervision of guc professor Rita Pinto De Freitas



Examination Comittee:

Guest Critiques:

adham walid zikry mariam mohamed el-kalla mina ayman attullah nada ashraf el sayed

prof. arch. arch. arch.

Prof. Dr. Eulalia Gomez Escoda ,Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya Prof. Dr. Heba AbouelFadl ,Alexandria University

Prof. Dr. Eduard Bru i Bistuer ,Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya Prof. Dr. Hector Mendoza ,Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya

Rita Pinto De Freitas Miquel Ruiz Planella Sara Vima Grau salma bela

This is to certify that: 1. this thesis comprises only my original work towards the Bachelor Degree 2. due acknowledgement has been made in the text to all other material used

Signature of the Author 07.08.2018


This project took place in Barcelona, one of the largest metropolitan cites on the Mediterranean. That is in a constant state of urban development long the ages due to its continues growth.Barcelona faces a connection problem with the three hills located in the middle of the city although it is a big part of it heritage. Perceived by city as an interruption of its infrastructure and a large number of locals lives their whole lives in Barcelona without visiting the hills or relating to them.Our goal in this project is to reconnect Barcelona to the hills by activating them and implementing doors that act as thresholds to the hills.

table of contents introduction chapter 01:




city formation urban development borders & boundries layers of the city

chapter 03:




defining actint boundries main strategy door selection criteria

chapter 05:

actuation strategy



strategy of actuation program & zoning conections form genration

Critical review References graphical development

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59 63

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chapter 02:

the three hills


identifing each hill conditions and problems preception of boundries

chapter 04:

seleced door



overview of selected door door analysis

chapter 06:

proposal implemitation



stages of development master plan elments & materiality zoom ins & renders

conclusion list of figures

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61 65 67


Conditions: Barcelona, Spain is the largest metropolitan city on the Mediterranean Sea and the capital of Catalonia, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range. One of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centers contributing to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. With a population of 1.7 million residents within the administrative limits and more than 4.6 million in the much larger provenance of Barcelona, this is plus the additional 32 million tourists that visit Barcelona annually. This leads to a high population density of 16,000 people per square kilometers, which makes Barcelona one of Europe’s most densely populated cities. Due to these large numbers the city is in a constant state of urban development and growth which is very clear in the city’s infrastructure and diversity of neighborhoods. Site: There are five hill in Barcelona with only three hills connected as one natural mass also known as “Tres Turons” are small hills located in the midst of Barcelona. Although they stand alone separated from the Collserola range by the urban cluster, they seem like an extension of these mountains penetrating the city surrounded by neighborhoods like Guinardó, Font d’en Fargues, Can Baró and Carmel. This part of the city is considered less developed as the hills present an interruption within the city thus affecting the infrastructure due to the rough terrain and topography. Aims: Although the hills are in the middle of the city, they are alienated. because of the poor connection some of the locals that lived in Barcelona all their lives hadn’t been to the hills or rarely visit it. so our aim is to connect the hills to the rest of the city by improving the limited or poor mobility and accessibility and defining and developing specific areas as doors that act as thresholds to the hill But in order to do that we had first to understand more the city and the three hills.







the roman



fig 1.1

BARCELONA city formation The first human settlements in Barcelona dated back to Neolithic times. The city itself was founded by the Romans who set up a colony called Barcino ( Fig. 1.1 ) at the end of the 1st century BC. Thus by tradition the romans built an enclosure wall for protection and representing the city borders. The density of the city started increasing to a point that by the end of the roman ruling the streets became very narrow due to the increase and proximity of buildings. In the late middle ages the city reached a point where the city needed to expand and a new urban perimeter was created by expanding the walls surrounding the city, while the seafront remains unwalled until the second half of the century where the sea became the city’s entrance and the most dynamic commercial space. When the enclosed extension later known by El Raval expanded reaching the shipyards on the sea side. The next step for the city by the start of the 1500 was constructing its first artificial port which is known today as Port Vell, after the increase of commercial importance of the port, the shipyard and its facilities were enlarged closing the city wall along the seafront. Then came the period the Spanish war when the city entered an era of modernization and urban activities. The churches power diminished and many of its spaces and properties were confiscated and later reused as squares, markets and new buildings. cedra’s plan

fig 1.2

The city was suffocating within its wall and with the industrialization and pollution added to the problem. Thus factories started to move out beyond the buffer zone the military had set. Then emerged several villages by the outskirts of Barcelona like Gracia and others by the sea like Barcelonetta which was created to accommodate the fishermen outside the city walls. After the density increased inside the city wall to the point full land occupation, the citizens demanded the demolishment of the city walls and an idea of a modern Barcelona started to generate and was sought by Ildefons Cerda whose plan ( Fig1.2 ) for expansion was approved. The plan aimed to expand the city connecting the old city with the surrounding outskirts village together rather than pushing them away.


fig 1.3

chamferd buildings

fig 1.4



nieghborhod division


fig 1.5

BARCELONA city development By the time Barcelona hosted the world fair several modern icons were commissioned such as Salo de Sant Joan and The Arc de Triomf. Consequently, more areas like Poble Sec and Horta expanded and the emergence of Placa catalunya. Other than that an urban planning competition was announced to improve the connections between the different neighborhoods; from which the outer ring roads idea was developed and larger scale urban infrastructures were established in Eixample and other districts. The 20th century ushered in widespread urban renewal throughout Barcelona city, culminating in its landmark Eixample district, which showcases some of Barcelona’s most distinctive Catalan art-nouveau, or modernist, buildings. The Catalan Antoni Gaudi, one of the most prominent architects, designed buildings such as the Casa Milà(known as La Pedrera, the Catalan for stone quarry), the Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Família basilica, which have become world-famous landmarks. After the war, the city managed to resume activities, a new master plan was approved, a large housing project was launched to contain the huge migration fluxes, in the east from Sant Marti to Nou Barris. In 1992, the Olympic games were hosted, new infrastructure was implemented, the ring roads were inaugurated and the coastline was reshaped to house the main Olympic village, turning the city towards the sea. This event completely launched Barcelona as a top European travel destination. In 2004 the forum of cultures reclaimed industrial zones to convert them into residential districts. In addition to extending Avinguda Diagonal to the sea through the forum and consolidating the Diagonal Mar district. And the developing didn’t stop until this day the city is growing and the municipality is introducing new projects and mobility plans to accommodate such growth, in parallel with put plans in motion for the future.



city boundries


fig 1.6

BARCELONA borders & boundries


In the efforts of understanding the city more we had to find out its boundary and as you can see Barcelona is enclosed by its natural geography. As visible in ( Fig. 1.6 ) it extend from the south on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, from the north by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the east by Besos river and finally from the west by Llobregate river.

urban layers


The other aspect we needed to grasp it the different urban layers of the city and the location of three hill within the city. The city is divided into four layers as shown in ( Fig. 1.7 ) the first is the sea and the commercial shore line, second layers was the city itself which is the urbanized part, third comes the hills layers where we have the natural topography with an urbanized part around the hills and the last layer is the Serra de Collserola mountain range.


sea urban layers

fig 1.7







the three hill


fig 2.1

THE THREE HILLS identifing each hill In Barcelona there are five hills in the middle if the city other than Montjuic is by the water front. The most famous of them and the site of our project are the “Tres Turons� also known as the three hills because they are connected together as one mass although. Turo Guell, Turo del Carmel and Turo de la Roviera. Turo Guell: this is the first hill and as evident from the name this is where parc Guell is located not only one of the most beautiful parks but also one of the works of Antoni Gaudi and home of the famous Gaudi house. Where he was commissioned by the Guell family of design a garden city, but only two of the sixty intended plots where build and the project was later abandoned because of it remote location and lack of transportation. The park was then offer to the city council who bought it back an opened it as public park. Turo del Carmel: the middle hill and the one with the highest altitude, often visited by joggers and dog walkers .it also has the only vehicular access that goes up to parc Guell and crosses the hill. Turo de la Roviera: the last and largest hill where we have parc del Guinardo. A large natural park that leads up the peak where we fin el bunkers de la Roviera. Which were built in the Spanish war to defend Barcelona against air attacks, currently decommissioned but has one of the most beautiful views to the city.


CHAPTER 02 conditions & problems Although the three hill are beautiful natural park in the middle of the city most of the locals don’t go there as it faces a mobility and accessibility problem as visible in Fig. 2.2. as the hills constitute for most people an interruption in the city’s transportation system. Also visible in Fig.2.3 is the uncomfortable slopes of the surrounding streets due to the hills natural topogrghy, that in some cases are so sever they have to be substituted by stairs and escalators, which make it changeling for many people specially elders.

metro lines

steep streets


fig 2.2

fig 2.3

THE THREE HILLS preceptions of boundaries

natures’s preception

So in order to allocate and design a door to the three hills we needed to find out their boundaries and thresholds to identify the ones for intervention. So our first perception came from dealing with the 2D Arial pictures in Cairo before visiting Barcelona. Where there was clear distinction between the hills natural mass and the urban fabric. Then when visiting the site for the first time we were introduced to the factor of altitude, where we found out that the hills topography didn’t start from the natural mass but also it extended more within the built fabric, so the boundaries expanded.

topographicl preception

As we lived in the city more our perception changed again and so the boundaries expanded again but this time to a territorial perception. As we found out three things, the first is that the urban fabric of the area shown behind the hills in the figure as visible is imitating he hills flow, other than that was that this whole area is on a different level (altitude) than the rest of the city and finally that the occupants there are the people that visit and connect with the hills the most.

territorial perception preception of boundraies

fig 2.4






trevesera de dalt


fig 3.1

STRATEGY preceptions of boundriesww

After due consideration these were the perceived boundaries for the hills. The mountain from the north, Travesera de Dalt from the south, from the west Avinguda Vallcarca and from the east Passeig de Maragall. And we decided to act on Travesera de Dalt as it’s the threshold between the city and the hills

acting bboundaries

fig 3.1





STRATEGY the main strategy

So in order to allocate and design a door to the three hills we After assigning Travesera de Dalt as the threshold. We aimed to connect it to the hills, by strategically selecting four doors that aim collect people from the city and disperse then to the network created on top of the hills connecting them together. The first door connects directly to park Guell with a path continuing inside to the top of the hill, the second is the only vehicular access that leads up to Park Guell and passes through the hill. third is a street that goes through a stone query that was used to build L’Eixamle leading to the bunkers and finally the last one is a part of the hill itself that extends down to the threshold as the entrance to park del Guinardo.

fig 3.3



selection criteriaa


STRATEGY door selection criteria A single door was then selected to act on which is the second door because of three important aspects. the first of them that the door is connected to El Carmel and because its central location it provides direct and easy access to the other two hill, the second reason being the existence of two axis that have the potential to separate the vehicular and pedestrian circulation and the final aspect is the direct connection of these two axis to the two intersections of the three hills.

fig 3.4






site images


fig 4.1

SELECTED DOOR overview of selected door Fig. 4.2 shows the selected door which starts at placa Sanllehy, passing by park Guell and leading to other side of the hills, what was most interesting about this door was that we found there a series of clustered semi planner surfaces which we later referred to s platforms. These platforms are located on different levels within the door thus creating a hierarchy of view and an integration between the built tissue and nature. In order to move forward we had to map and analyze the door further to grasp its strong and weak points. In order to make it more inviting and improve the urban quality.


fig 4.2


CHAPTER 04 platform uses First we started to map the potential platforms with the condition that it is a semi-planner surface to assess the current urban situation. We found out that most of these potential platforms were mainly residential or parking’s.



fig 4.3

SELECTED DOOR services The second aspect was the services and by mapping it provided information on the types of available and needed services. Also the proximity of services to the residential areas and its concentrations. We mainly found out that the services are clustered at the start and end of the door with minimal services in between.


fig 4.4


CHAPTER 04 pedestrian quality In order to assess the pedestrian quality, we had to look at the pavement width, street crossings, density of urban furniture and the provided shading by the trees. Since this door was mainly vehicular these conations were clearly lacking. Another aspect that affected this issue was the slope of the streets affecting the accessibility. We found out that the slope ranged between 0.5 and 8.5 percent which was acceptable.

pedastrian quality


fig 4.5

SELECTED DOOR transportation There are three buses two of them with the same route but a difference in the running time. Where we have bus 92 running every 15-20 mins, bus 24 running every 5-8 mins and a small neighborhood bus 116 on a difftrent route running every 8-10 min. also the nearest metro station is Alfons X and it’s a 10 min walk from placa sanlhehy.

bus routes

fig 4.6





CHAPTER 05 program After the mapping reveled the strength, weakness and potential of the door, in the form of the platforms a system was put in place their buildup and connection. As shown in Fig 5.1 each platform is made from three elements, firsts the semi-planner surface that makes up the public space engulfed ini a green oblique surface that connects vertically between them and leading to a pedestrian route on top theta connects horizontally.

acctuantion system


fig 5.1

ACTUATION STRATEGY circulation unfolding We had the idea of unfolding the route instead of demolishing to expand. As the existing ones were narrow and not enough to allow the door to function properly we created two vehicular routes the yellow route leading to a parking for the cars and touristic buses going to park Guell and the other one passes through the hills to assure the continuation of the vehicular access. Plus inducing an new pedestrian route in the image of the system of platforms.

route unfolding

fig 5.2


CHAPTER 05 program A diverse program was put in place to ensure the appealing to different age groups, social classes and interests. Engulfing residential, commercial ,arts and leisure.

programtic zoninge


fig 5.3

ACTUATION STRATEGY stratigic zonig The program was then broken down to a strategic zoning that puts in consideration the function need and placed strategically to serve their purpose and accommodate the surrounding.

stratigical zoning

fig 5.4


CHAPTER 05 conections The platforms are connected in two ways. There is a vertical connection that connects directly between the platforms using the topography and a horizontal connection in the form of a pedestrian routs the goes through the platforms .



fig 5.5

ACTUATION STRATEGY spatial structure This shows a series of decisions taken like demolitioning some of the existing building to open spaces to simulate people flow, also using the existing topography and difference in level plus adding some elements to guide this flow through the hill.

spatial structure

fig 5.6






development 1


fig 6.1

devlopment 2

fig 6.2

PROPOSAL implemtation development of master plan In the first trail the platforms were designed separately eliminating this sense of unity in the door, After developing father came our third trail where we figured out that for this door to function properly it need to be dealt with as one system. So in a conceptual approach we created this continues structure starting from placa Sanllehy till the top. Although this approach achieved the needed unity it was developed more to our final masterplan where we aim to create this homogenies atmosphere through using the same elements and material all through the door.

devlopment 3

fig 6.3






fig 6.4


CHAPTER 06 affected situation This drawing shows the affected situation starting from the unfolding of the street to the demolition of certain buildings to open up space, which would be compensated later on. Also the refunctioning of the ground floor of some of the existing buildings either for commercial use or to use the as public space.



fig 6.5

PROPOSAL implemtation elements and materialty The same module of a shading element with a permeable roof was created to achieve this continuity through the door and having this indoor outdoor experience, where the openings in the shading element varied to accommodate the different functions underneath. As for the materiality four materials were used to insure the homogeneity. Which were asphalt and concrete for the hard scape and saulo and grass or the soft scape.

shading stud


fig 6.6

fig 6.7





fig 6.8

PROPOSAL implemtation vertical patkter plan

intervention scale `

fig 6.9





fig 6.10

PROPOSAL implemtation art center

intervention scale `

fig 6.11





fig 6.12

PROPOSAL implemtation nature retreat

intervention scale `

fig 6.13





fig 6.14

PROPOSAL implemtation housing

intervention scale `

fig 6.15






fig 6.16



The complexity of the urban reality took a lot of time to grasp as we were not local and our background coming from Egypt didn’t help also as we haven’t been introduced to some aspect like the topography, public spaces, functioning public transportation and compact city So consequently we spent much more time developing the large scale than the small intervention scale which is evident I the drawings.



To conclude we started by analyzing the hills know the boundaries to deal with then strategically selected four doors to collect people and disperse them on the hill, further more our actuation strategy came as aspires of cluster surfaces that we used as a base for our project and we aim to create a functioning homogenous door through introducing an adapting modular element and materiality. And I would like to note that we found out that by chance the ajuntament de Barcelona just lunched a competition for connecting the three hills to Barcelona, which stresses on the importance of the project to the city.



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appendix 101



final presentation panels




final presentation panels







Published by Adham W,Zikry


Published by Adham W,Zikry