Self-managed meeting space for the social and environmental transformation of L'Esquerra de l'Eixample, Barcelona

  • Day of Mural Painting (Oct 2015)

  • Participatory workshop at the Golferichs Civic Center organized by Recreant Cruïlles (April 2012)



  • ASSEMBLY IN THE bleachers of dome

  • Container

  • Container



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Is the city a blank page? Should it be left in the hands of the town planners? The Germanetes space has been an unused municipal lot for over ten years, which has been a neighborhood project promoted by the Recreant Cruïlles Association. The initiative has the embryo of the Assembly of the Esquerra del Ensanche (AVVEE) arising from the social mobilizations of 15M (2011).

New Empty

A local self-management plan was developed over the course of two years, with the support of neighbors and the advice of groups such as Straddle3, Idensitat, Makea, Encajes Urbanos. Finally, the project becomes concrete in the fixing and provision of an urban space, in which Straddle3 actively participates in the device design processes, as a result of the Pla BUITS municipal competition. This plan gives the possibility to entities of the third sector to make a temporary use of several municipal plots in disuse in the city.

Located at the confluence of Compte Borrell and Consell de Cent streets, the main objectives of the project were the reappropriation of an empty and unproductive space of 5,500 m2 in favor of citizenship, and the pacification of the streets adjacent to the site to get more public space for the social life of the neighborhood.


Recreant Cruïlles promoted a broad participatory process, as well as several recreational activities across the site. The purpose was to publicize and develop the project, integrate alliances and to get critical about the project. In these workshops the lot assembly came into contact with Straddle3, who subsequently made a large part of the space's infrastructures possible.


In 2012 the Barcelona City Council presented the call for the EMPTY PLAN in which only 500 m2 of the site would entered the competition. The announcement was perceived as an opportunity, a Trojan horse that would make it possible to enter the site in a legal manner, without renouncing to carry out actions to reclaim the public space.


After winning the public competition on November of 2013, the site was finally able to be accessed. The new stage was marked by several days of collaborative work for the construction of two light architecture pieces (dome and container), in which Straddle3 guided and facilitated the basic infrastructure for the start of the activity.


The workshops consisted of the assembly of a storage unit taking advantage of an old container covered with wood; and a large geodesic steel dome with concentric tiers - possibly the clearest and most forceful expression of a space that gives the opportunity to listen and to be heard. A very appropriate space for the assembly and representation.


The jury of the 2014 Ciutat de Barcelona Awards granted a Special Mention to the task developed by the Germanetes Space Assembly and Straddle3.

September 2012
Straddle3, Idensitat, Camí Amic, Ateneu l'Entrebanc, IntraScapeLab, CST, Makea, Public Raons, or Urban Lace, among others.
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