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Maquinnext represents an intense encounter between nature and the city. It is the response to an ambitious brief which calls for the transformation of a neighborhood into a new focal point in Barcelona with a mixed-used development, including both the extension of a major shopping center and residential use.

Courtesy of MVRDV

A key issue in the design is phasing since due to the weak housing market, the housing development is not expected to begin construction for another 4-5 years. The proposal makes a conscious decision to create an efficient, sustainable open air shopping center which will strengthen the existing facility’s connection with its surroundings.

Courtesy of MVRDV

The roof of the shopping center becomes an undulated landscape, an accessible green roof providing a much-needed oasis in the hard surfaced city. Points are pulled upwards strategically to emphasize the entrances while others are pulled downwards to grant a soft entrance to the sublime, lifted forest which characterizes the new development.

Courtesy of MVRDV

The forest can be experienced visually from the entire neighborhood and physically from the new retail streets. The intense nature stimulates the shopping experience and pumps life into the district. It paradoxically merges into the urban fabric, as well as stands out. When the time comes for the residential development, slender high-rise towers will emerge from the forest itself enriching the skyline of Barcelona.

Courtesy of MVRDV

Project Info
Architects: MVRDV
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Client: Unibail Rodamco, Paris, France
Program: 45.000 m2 shopping center with 57.000 m2 added residential complex and additional public spaces
Credits: Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries with Marta Pozo, Tom Leahy, Davide Sacconi
Year: 2012
Type: Mixed-use, Retail, Residential

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