Good morning, Carme!

Olot, Spain
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © Roger Serrat-Calvó
Photo © Roger Serrat-Calvó
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Photo © José Hevia
Situation plan
Drawing © unparelld'arquitectes
Drawing © unparelld'arquitectes
Catalogue key
Drawing © unparelld'arquitectes
Architects
unparelld'arquitectes
Address
Plaça del Carme, 17800 Olot, Spain
Year
2021
Client
Olot town hall, L'Artiga Coop, Art School of Olot
Team
Clàudia Calvet, Xevi Rodeja, Quim Domene, Miquel Capdevila, Protir, Grupo Noria, Xevi Pujol, Garrotxa Museum, Olot Town Hall, Local occupation plan, Nucli Antic neighbourhood council, Neighbours and shopkeepers, Salvi Capellà, Joan Mallart, L'Artiga Coop, Simon Group
Civil engineering works & landscaping
Construccions Pere Boada Comas, Grederes 2.0, Trasplantaments Sant Iscle
Installations
Elèctric Jomi, Montolivet Instal•lacions, Grau Sistemes Tèrmics
Metal works
Plantalech, Serralleria Jordi Cullet
Carpentry
Fusteria Esfèric, Fusteria Esteve Baqué, Fusteria Jordi
Painting works
Soy & Soy
Commercial signs
Rètols Mateu, RetMiq
Textile materials
Magatzems Olot, Collell protecció solar
Commercial fixtures
Viguet Canal, Fiosa, Reine, Codispe, FV Seguretat

Shopping is an integral part of the street. Improving the vitality, comfort and safety of the public space was done by fostering occupancy of closed shops and emphasising relationships through the shop windows. That was the task developed on the street in the project, Good morning, Carme! (Olot, 2021). In a single year, 1000 m² of shops were opened and 120 m of façade were redesigned in a single square in the old town.

Changes in the consumption model have caused the centres of many cities to head into a sharp commercial decline. Based on the premise that the activity and character of the street depends on the façades and what happens behind them, the urban renewal of these spaces inevitably involved the mobilisation of the bank of empty ground floor premises. The shop windows are where this relationship was established, with extensions into the outside with awnings and pedestal tables and into the inside with the products on display. It was thus advisable to blur the borders between the public and the private, from a physical perspective and, especially, from a municipal management viewpoint. That was the starting point for the Good morning, Carme! project, which united and went hand in hand with a collective hope: the revival of Plaça del Carme in the centre of Olot. Traditional city planning was reconsidered, allocating 70% of the budget to ground floors. The project also included the opening of the city's Art School and the remodelling of a warehouse for a consumer cooperative. It is a project of projects, involving 3 developers and 8 shopkeepers. The approach was similar to acupuncture, like a catalogue of actions that add complexity and depth to the relationships between the street and the ground floors. This catalogue considered planting deciduous trees to complement the façades, the lighting of the street from the perimeter and from the insides, converting empty openings into alcoves to exhibit sculptures from the Art School and overhauling shop windows to endow them with the most transparency possible and bring them into dialogue with the street. During the nine months that works lasted, the 'Carme office' was set up in the square, where we cooked up ideas on how to reactivate the space. This was the meeting point between neighbours, shopkeepers, owners and technicians, who also took on the roles of facilitators, managers and mediators. Dividing the project into stages ensured we could adapt it to any new needs detected.

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