Agencia de Construcción de IDeas


Agencia de Construcción de Ideas

SELB: ¿urban or rural?, ¿Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde

SELB: ¿urban or rural?, ¿Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

Future developments in the town of Selb may refer about this dicotomy, as Selb, a because of its population, its geographic position or the quality of its landscape, is at the edge of both worlds, the rural and the urban one. However, the proposal under the title ‘Doctor Hyde’ reveals that most attractive from Selb condition is precisely this ambivalence, therefore, nor Doctor Jekyll nor Mr. Hyde, but rather, and much better, Doctor Hyde.
Doctor Hyde sets a pattern towards the hybridization of both solutions, urban and rural, which at first glance may seem antagonistic, but whose mixture is the best value in the town of Selb:
. chasing the desired concentration of activities of the city, in an environment which otherwise remains natural.
. generating an ambience proper of a rural setting, in constant contact with a large number of free spaces through completely metropolitan techniques like multi-family building types and the increase of construction density.
. Equipping public areas with basic infrastructure capable of responding to different requirements depending on age, timetable, climate…turning public space into a place not just contemplative but interactive.
. and finally, creating an hybrid language, a blend of rural and urban concepts for the actions to promote: topographic building, vegetal avenue, house of the tree, natural infrastructure, dwellings under the hill, island-block, lighting branches, ski track buildings…

Doctor Hyde proposes the hybridization between nature and city, and thus, a new strategy is developed for the area under study, setting up a redundancy of paths and roads to walk and wander around, of width similar to the one of the traffic roads, so that the latter become just one more option in the wandering, and not the only alternative, as it is happening nowadays.
The new roads network introduces new routes on the inside of the Selb blocks, now recovered for public use and enjoyment. These paths are also a labyrinthine ‘dérive’ around places not known by most citizens, and are the connecting elements for blocks until now isolated, setting up a general and global plan for the entire area before individual actions.

The success of the proposed public space, and its subsequent use and enjoyment by the citizens, depends mainly in its capacity to provide an answer to all necessities of the inhabitants, as much as to be able to adapt to different timetables, weather conditions, ages…Thus, a basic infrastructure equipment is proposed, turning the public space into interactive, characterizing the different areas and offering new possibilities of activities to carry out.


The inclusion of new constructions is subordinated to prior analysis of each block, determining whether or not to include more edification, by the study of density and condition. Doctor Hyde proposes new constructions only at blocks A, B, D and E, all of them with different characteristics, but in common the capacity to accomodate new edification and increase their density, providing a total number of dwellings more than enough for the future growth of Selb.

The idea behind the types is completely urban: not single family houses but more dense buildings containing dwellings of more or less reduced dimensions, of industrial construction and sustainable, always allowing the reconfiguration of the different areas to suit different types of family units.

By contrast, the volumetric component of the buildings is based on natural and topographic features, as the rural concept for the mix proposed for the built types, and so appear the tree houses, the dwellings under the hill, and the ski track buildings.

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