Urban Design Competition Honorable Mention
The rejuvenation of Olite, Navarra, begins and ends with the concept of building on the strengths of this compact city. Olite is dense and walkable, with intact neighborhoods comprised of historic architecture characteristic of the region. It is a major destination for tourists who visit the town for its many festivals and the authentically-restored Palacio Real, the jewel in the crown of the city. What is clear that the city has undergone major regeneration already with beautifully renovated plazas near and around the Palacio, along with a well-designed and coherent program to exclude automobiles from the city center.
We propose the next phase, to build on the good work which has come before, and extend redevelopment toward the southern and eastern portions of the city in order to provide more options to stroll, live, shop, and to be entertained. This is intended for enjoyment by visitors, but more importantly, by the inhabitants of Olite, in order to keep the viability of an authentic town and not just a tourist destination. We believe that our proposal deepens the visitor experience without sacrificing the needs of the people who make Olite their home.
One component of the regeneration scheme is the continuation of the design development of the landscape improvements which are on the east side of the city. We looked at this comprehensively and propose that this could be developed as a promenade, accessible from the city center as well as key nodes from the perimeter road. Currently the landscaped approach to the city ends at the northern gates and is unresolved as the city edge moves towards the south.
Our design proposal would continue the planting of more cypress trees an olives and developing a footpath that would activate this area. The intent is to link this footpath as well with the newly regenerated Plaza de la Rueda at the center of the city edge. Accessibility is very important for allowing for the very young, mothers with strollers, the elderly and disabled to be able to access all of the new footpaths.
We also propose building a permanent lookout point looking east over the plain, as a pergola with vines. This would provide a shady destination along the promenade. This promenade will serve the citizens of Olite as a way to escape the city center through the simplicity of a footpath overlooking a view, access to a breeze and with a connection to nature.