Torrent d’en Tortuguer Stream

AMB

Architects: AMB (Claudi Aguiló Riu, Eva Pagés)
Location: Ripollet, Spain
Year: 2017 - 2020
Photography: Jeroen Van Mieghem

The project to recover Torrent d’en Tortuguer stream seeks to obtain the return of a forgotten landscape.

The water course emerges in such a way to foster the restoration of bank conditions that are natural for a temporary Mediterranean stream, with a fluctuating water flow throughout the year. This then recreates the wetlands habitat through areas that temporarily flood to benefit biodiversity and consolidate certain species.

The stream was channelled in the 1980s. The waterproofing of the basin and an undersized rainwater network caused an increase in runoff, flooding and damage. This action seeks to improve the urbanisation’s resilience in view of the effects of climate change.

The topography of the land was changed to create a depression by digging out the central part and filling the margins with the same soil; likewise, three platforms were installed across it on rows of prefabricated gabions. Temporary flood areas were created at these interruption points that redirect the surface runoff towards the depression.

The design of the water cycle is based on controlling runoff, accumulating water in the retention points to recreate the landscape and increasing the infiltration into the soil. Closing the cycle, phreatic well water is used to water the plants.

 

The vegetation planted reflects the gradient of water needs.

 

Recovered as part of the city’s historical natural heritage, the space is a continuation of Els Pinetons park and connects it with Casa Natura (Nature House). Thus, Torrent d’en Tortuguer Street is transformed into a unique platform which prioritises foot and bicycle traffic.