The project is an urban regeneration and heritage intervention, located in the Historical City Center of Onda, from de Islamic period (s.XI-sXII) declared as a Monument of Significant Cultural Interest with the Monument category in 1967. The square is a void in the medieval city, in a topographic area, close to the archaeological rests of arabic medieval palaces and the Chistian Church. This square was a social meeting space in the past, for agriculture uses or as a playground of a children’s school. But in the last decades was used only as a parking lot, degradating the quality of the space. In 2016, during an archeological research, an enclosure of medieval rammed earth walls reinforced with stones and the rests of a stair and pilasters of arches were discovered 5 meters deep in the ground.
In the archaeological site were discovered the remains of a large space 15x15 meters size, from an Andalusian raft of the 12th Century surrounded by 1,40 meters thick walls. This space was reused during the 13-14th Century, during the Hospital Christian Order time, building 4 lines of stone arches and a Gothic staircase from a civil or religious building. The aim of the intervention is to recover the interest and urban life of the neighborhood with an evident depopulation, from the reintegration of the archaeological site to the rest of the square and restoring the connexions to the streets that were lost during years in the archaeological works.
The design was adjusted through different meetings with neighbors and residents of the neighborhood, to adapt to the different particularities: people with reduced mobility, small businesses, preferential routes, needs of meeting and play spaces...
The project was designed from an inclusive perspective, to improve the quality of life of people in the neighborhood. The project tries to reconnect the different levels of the place, building a floor with a continuous paving of anti-slipping stone as an adaptation of the traditional paving system. The connections with the streets are solved with soft ramps and with stairs of small height, to facilitate the daily displacements of the elderly people...to go to the oven, to the Church or to take the children to school. The historical Valencia Street had been lost when the archaeological area was opened up and disconnected from the historical center. A large wooden platform that adapts to the natural topography with steps, recovers this historic access road. The floating plaza is a continuity of the public space of the surrounding streets, which overflies the archaeological space. A floating pavement of iroko wood slats, with details of handcrafted placement, on a steel structure that allows it to adapt to the topography, through a gentle staggering of small steps to sit and chat. An urban space made of wood, friendly, that promotes the tactile sensation of small scale in urban spaces.