Fifth Centennial Consolación Park
Utrera (Sevilla), 2005
A sensorial hypostyle landscape.
Once, this orange grove used to be a dense and replete space in the midst of the vast emptiness of the dry farmland around Utrera: a refuge and oasis full of smaller places. The interprets this trait to design the park as an isotropic space in which small-scale elements are inserted in a surgical manner. The orange trees are minimally pruned and the layout of the plantation is restored; the terrain is kept in its natural state and the ancient irrigation system is revealed to the users.
The landscape of the past becomes an urban void by the mere that this open space is now surrounded by the built environment. Therefore, a piece of the rural realm is maintained within the city, with a multitude of new paths in the form of incisions crisscrossing this space. These paths traverse fields of vibrant textures that speak to our senses: touch, sound, color, smell —the oranges were originally cultivated for the production of soaps and perfumes.
Between the magical space of the orange grove-come-park and the generic low-quality urban development, a new transition and sponge-like edge is produced —in part upon the footprints of former rural roads— which incorporates new public facilities and restored industrial-heritage buildings. The esplanades in front of the Sanctuary, a sacred public space, are also considered as part of these bordering spaces. They are designed with subtlety, merely recovering some of their historical traits in contemporary architectural language.