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L'infrastruttura scomparsa. Il nuovo suolo della stazione Sagrera Alta Velocità a Barcellona


The vanishing infrastructure. The new ground of the Sagrera High-Speed railway station in Barcelona The current railway station mega-project in Barcelona Sagrera highlights the link between the construction of the new High- Speed station and a vast linear park that will cover the existing railroad tracks. In the framework of one of the largest and most ambitious railway and urban redevelopment projects currently underway in all of Europe, this article focuses on the subordination of the Station to the park, which apart from being a mere issue of location (the station is literally under the park), can be reframed within a theoretical debate on the role of architecture in these truly significant urban regeneration processes. The titanic size of the park illustrates its overwhelming power of transformation. Moreover, it reveals an underlying vision of the city, which connects districts at the surface level and views the park as a cohesive element and urban shaper, while the architecture disappears underneath this new ground level. Questioning how architecture can still matter in contemporary big-picture planning, the article first reports on the two adjacent planning processes, then argues for a transfer of representational, symbolic and architectural values from the station to the park. This achieves the integration between the park and the station at an iconic, imaginary level, rather than at the effective level of design. In this sense, the disappearance of the station, which is frequently identified with the park, questions how architecture can fulfils the promises of such large-scale projects. Finally, this article assesses how, in the case of Sagrera, disappearing seems to be the right answer for architecture, in order to reconcile massive investment in infrastructure with the new paradigm of sustainability.