Santa Caterina Pathway

Santa Caterina Pathway

Camí de Santa Caterina, Manresa (Catalonia), Spain - Build completed in 2015
David Closes / Joan Antoni Closes

Santa Caterina Pathway

David Closes Architects as Architects

The aim of the project was to pave an old medieval path located beyond the south area of the Catalan city of Manresa. The city has a clear edge on his south side, over the Cardener river, because of the gorge of the river and because of the presence of railways tracks. This gap produced by the orography and the railway infrastructure generates a clear border between the urban fabric and the agricultural spaces placed in the south of the city. The Santa Caterina path, which leads to the Santa Caterina old tower, climbs by the steep slopes of the river gorge. The path leads up, from the city, to the Santa Caterina plateau; this plateau is an exceptional balcony towards the historical and monumental façade of the city.

The works have basically consisted in different stretches of concrete pavement placed in the most abrupt and sloping parts of the path. The concrete, made with small gravel of 10mm of maximum diameter, have been polished or washed with acid.

The designed project was used as a starting point: the project defined the constructive criteria and indicated a first geometric approach of the solution. During the works, while half-buried remains of the historical pavement or the exact geometry of the rock strata were progressively appearing, the geometry solutions were being adjusted in each part of the project. The stakes and the string stretches became the precision instruments of the works.

The project intervention has sought to add a new contemporary layer in this place without deleting –and also not rebuilding- the remaining parts of the historical pavement. The stretches and portions of the new pavement try to add a new stratum to the place: this way, the intervention allows a clear and complete reading of the history, from the past to the present time.

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