ZONA FRANCA, BARCELONA
Zona Franca is a logistics and industrial area located in the Sants-Montjuïc district of Barcelona, Catalonia. It is in a very strategic position, between the City of Barcelona, Barcelona Free Port and Barcelona Airport. The upcoming Metro line L9, currently under development, will serve Zona Franca and further connect it with central Barcelona and the rest of the metropolitan area.
Built on a flat expanse of the Llobregat river delta, the grounds where ZF now stands were
marshes until the early 18th century, when the area was drained and subsequently cultivated. In the
early 20th century it was already partially occupied by industry, and in 1916 the Zona Franca
Consortium (CZF) was created to regulate what was to become the largest industrial area in the
After a century of industrial activity, CZF is currently developing a strategic communication plan to rethink its future so that it may become a mixed-use area closely related with the rest of
the city, from which it is now both physically, legally and conceptually separated.
CZF’s urban model should contribute to solve three main problems in Barcelona:
o Permanent lack of rental housing and lack of affordable housing
o Undesirable aspects of mass tourism
o Excessive dependence on services
In order to do so, the main aspects of the urban model ZF is envisioning are:
o Promote urban diversity as primary goal, avoiding morphological, functional and social monoculture.
o Create an inspiring environment to attract and keep global talent (wellness and quality of life).
o Generate interaction between talent, education and private companies.
o Create affordable rental housing to keep local talent.
o Propose new modes of production within the city (no pollution, no noise, no incompatibilities with housing).
A 1916 picture of the Zona Franca taken from the slope of Montjuïc, showing early industrialization of the site.
Zona Franca section of the Barcelona ring road showing, left to right: La Marina del Prat Vermell, train tracks, ring road and Zona Franca.
11 / 06 / 2023
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
V-Ray Renderer [Rhino]
The Modern Viaduct or MoVi is a reaction to the disconnect between the L-9 and L-10 railways. This area of Zona Franca, a major industrial district found in the city of Barcelona, needs an intermediary connection that can transport students, immigrant and workers quickly across the zone due to the gap between the lines. This passage is 1.2 km long [the length of Rambla de Raval] and uses the existing rail road tracks to create a metro that will travel linearly. Due to the fact that Zona Franca’s industrial area is still needed, an inhabitable ridge is rendered above existing tracks to create a new ground zero for pedestrianization. This will allow program to be added on top of existing industrial buildings whilst not disrupting it’s regular properties.
2018 | FOURTH YEAR STUDY ABROAD FALL SEMESTER
[in collaboration with fellow USC student, Michael Gonzalez]
This is the Modern Viaduct
flexible housing proposal
bridge layout diagram
housing alternative A
housing alternative B
program + housing proposal
Akin to New York’s Highline and Paris’s Viaduc Des Arts, the bridge attempts to activate the existing industrial zone by retrofitting a three layered bridge or viaduct that seeks to accomodate a variety of flexible spaces that can be adapted, wherein the lower layer proposes a variety of flexible housing modules, the middle layer for commercial and retail spaces and the top layer created for different potential housing schemes.