NATURE & PROJECT. Chronicle of a Teaching Experience, by Josep Lluís Mateo

During the 2019 fall semester, Josep Lluís Mateo led the Visiting Studio organized for the final year at the ETSAB, in collaboration with the AMB (Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona). The object of study of the workshop was Gavà, a town in the Barcelona periphery. Under the heading “Gavà. The Whole and the Part”, the architect approached the course in two moments: “A distant look at the territory, imagining how and where building could take place, and a close look, once a place was found, in which to imagine a project with details, matter and space.”

This experience, combining nature, city and project, is documented in Nature & Project. Josep Lluís Mateo, published by ETSAB Culture – Publications, Barcelona 2020.

Nature and City

Thinking about the construction of the city in relation to nature is an argument clearly present in our contemporary situation, where the ecological, sustainable discourse has to be developed structurally and physically, not just in a political or technological way.

Rethinking the large scale of thought and action according to the logic of physical nature rather than just abstraction is, in my opinion, a specifically relevant argument in our contemporary world.

The Studio addressed a very attractive place1 in the Barcelona periphery: the town of Gavà, where the delta plain of the river Llobregat meets the coastal hill range, a large open expanse that contains what is, to date, the only undeveloped space in the whole area.

The place is very illustrative of recent urban history.
This was confirmation of the real interest in generating thought and action as to how to construct an important part of the city in an active relation with nature.”

Josep Lluís Mateo
Excerpt from the book Nature & Project


1My thanks to the AMB (Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona), and especially to its director, Ramon Torra, for proposing this theme.

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Nature & Project
ETSAB Visiting Studio,
Fall Semester 2019
by Josep Lluís Mateo, Barcelona School of Architecture – ETSAB and Barcelona Metropolitan Area – AMB.
ETSAB Culture – Publications. Barcelona, 2020

With contributions by:
Queralt Garriga
Manel Colominas
Jaume Prat
Pere Joan Ravetllat
Lluís Ortega
Ton Salvadó