Wastewater Treatment Plant
© BCQ

Wastewater Treatment Plant

BCQ arquitectura barcelona as Architects

A wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is a big territorial “filter" which roughly purifies water after urban use before returning it to the sea. So we imagined that this image of "filter" could be the image of the treatment plant. A filter between spaces, a light filter, a filter between the landscape and an industrial image installation ...


The Alt Maresme WWTP project includes sewage sanitation system consisting of 3 different facilities and strategically located in the territory, the Pump Station (PS) at the mouth of the stream of Pineda, the Pretreatment (PT) in front the beach near a small cemetery, and the treatment of sludge and waters line, located in the former Montpalau’s quarry (WWTP).


The Pumping station is conceived as a small-scale building and industrial-looking as it is coated all over it with a metal deployée.


The part built on the coast, the Pretreatment station, buries in the ground to assimilate in height partly to the nearby cemetery. The white finish and lack of openings to the outside makes the building look like an extension of the cemetery fence. In order to maintain the height, the elevation inside the working area of the new building has been lowered 2.5 meters below the current level.


In contrast to the two smaller facilities, PS and PT, which respond directly to their urban environment, the Wastewater treatment plant, of sludge treatment, is located within the quarry and is conceived as a scenographic exercise with a single facade inserted in the landscape. The project seeks to use the construction of the WWTP to improve substantially the image of the old Montpalau’s quarry currently unused. The landscape component of the intervention must be an improvement in the perception of the forest and agricultural landscape of its surroundings. The search for the landscape quality of the new intervention does not arise from cosmetics, but from the generation of new premises for the landscape restoration of an old quarry and the very concept of the new facility.


The new environmental facility is organized by parallel strips separated by plant spaces in continuity with the forest, and to fit the current topography of the quarry that allows inserting other strips occupied by shrub and tree vegetation. The main strip of the WWTP is a flat vegetated roof so that the technical services are completely hidden from the outside view. The areas likely to generate odors are grouped on one side of the same strip and can be hermetically sealed to guarantee the absence of odors. A large metal volume will house the visitor’s center and staff facilities. A large facade formed by metal filters frames the main volume and generates the only image we have of it from outside.


Materials and urban development finishes are particularly compatible with the adjacent landscape. The treatment of the vertical walls of the quarry was planted with native plant although it is understood that it is not necessary to cover the stone walls with vegetation.


The features of the services building allow that this one could receive a environmental interpretation center. The functions of this center would be: teaching and educational (teaching the water cycle in urban environments), technique (showing the treatment process, specifically, in the Maresme region), recreational and cultural (allowing arranged and controlled visit to the facilities).


SCALE Ambit: Calella, Pineda de Mar, Santa Susanna, Malgrat and Palafolls Population: 324,000 inhabitants seasonal Daily water treatment: 81,000 m3 Daily waste: 74 tons sludge

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