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Horizontal Interferences: Natural and built horizon in Barcelona

Part 2 Dissertation 2015
Ana Maria Otelea
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, Romania
The present paper attempts an analysis of the city’s image, understood as the combination of the ground configuration, the processes that shaped it, the activities it hosts and their effects asperceived by the inhabitants. The cityscape is seen as the material trace of the act of dwelling, therefore its physical fibre is overlaid with symbolic value. This is the key to interpret the dialogue between city and horizon: the city’s relationship with its boundaries is relevant to deciphering the way of living and adequately intervene. Engaging the horizon as a research operator relies on its suggestive potential: material as well as symbolic distance between observer and his object of contemplation.

This study intends to fundament the author’s diploma project, set in Barcelona’s complex urban setting: a „compact city” (as described by Joan Busquets) stretching between four natural limits: coast, mountain and two riverbeds. Here, the natural horizon is a powerful actor on the city’s stage: the Collserola heights frame the perspectives from the lower city, whereas the higher neighbourhoods unfold towards the sea. The natural background is mirrored by the city skyline, whose modern growth has defined recurring patterns and variations in addressing the shape and significance of its limits.

Ana Maria Otelea

Cazmer Tomas Kovacs
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