Plaza de la Villa.

Creator: Moneo Brock.

Location: Mallorca (España).

The project is located in the Plaza de la Vila in the Majorcan townof Sencelles, a vital space for the town as it brings together in one place the parish, the Town Hall, the post office and other important premises for the day-to-day life of the locals.

During the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st this space was principally used as a parking area. The competition crief prepared by the City Hall contemplated the recovery of this space for the citizens and as a site for markets, dances, processions, etc. Participation by local citizens was crucial to our understanding of  their needs and our offering a more complete and consistent response.

The new public space, surrounded by the narrow streets of the historic center of Sencelles, is a large convivial area for the enjoyment of all. In summer, the new vegetation and the pergola area offer shelter from the high temperatures, creating large, cool shaded areas. In winter, the deciduous vegetation allows the direct entry of the sun to warm the large space.

Imperative in the transformation of the space was to achieve universal accessibility. A new pedestrian ramp connects the different levels of the square, allowing everyone to access the parish of San Pere, whose origins date back to the year 1236.

The ramp is integrated into a stepped grandstand in stone, which faces the pergolas and offers seating for the different events that are held in the square.

The design is based on several concepts fundamental to sustainable design: the reuse of materials from the old square, the use of local materials and techniques in the new construction, and the application of passive measures to control temperature and improve comfort.

We were also careful to reuse and protect of those elements with sentimental value for the locals. The existing vegetation was maintained, and much of the old stone paving was reused. In addition, traditional sculptures and reliefs feature prominently and are framed by the new landscape.

All the materials and plant species that have been introduced are of a local nature, and give their best in the Mediterranean climate. In addition, the island’s rich tradition crafts and construction techniques was decisive in the construction process, and allows us to speak of a totally local production and a Majorcan character.

A good example of this are the new benches that have been designed for the Plaça and that add notes of color to the whole.