Barcelona landscape and architecture firm SCOB created seven architectural-landscape “interventions” called Climate Islands. They created inviting, green urban environments in inner city spaces that help mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Climate Islands are “an operation of ‘urban acupuncture’ that adds new layers to the pre-existing territory and urban intervention that requires a strategic urban vision and careful control of small-scale architecture,” according to SCOB.
What does this mean? SCOB is known for their urban architecture and public space “interventions.” These aim to change the way people interact with public spaces and bring nature back into cityscapes. The firm designs everything from buildings to public use furniture and skate parks. Now, these Climate Islands are a way to bring a bit of green back to public parks in a way that promotes wellness and reduces heat in urban spaces.
Client Gerencia Urbanistica Port Vell hired SCOB to reimagine the areas closest to the sea around Port Vell. This is to create contact between the urban areas and the ocean. The idea was to integrate these spaces in the port for residents of the Gothic and Barceloneta neighborhoods, and give them a way to connect with the ocean.
Furthermore, the final project consists of “islands” of palm trees and plantings. It is surrounded by wide seating areas for gatherings of people to sit and enjoy nature in the middle of the city. One platform is broad enough to host a picnic, a local band or any manner of public get-togethers. To top it all off, against the backdrop of the city on a promenade near the sea.
Additionally, cooling mist fountains stand between the seating areas for residents on hot days. The net effect of these raised platforms and plantings create a plaza that is slightly out of the way of pedestrian traffic. Thereby, people can slow down, enjoy each other’s company or the view of the port and the boats coming and going. It all creates a green space to enjoy within a hot cityscape.
Photography by Adrià Goula