A proposal for a new green corridor through the medieval quarter of the northern Spanish city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Vitoria has an impressive history of carefully planned expansion from its medieval, almond-shaped core: recycling and renewable energy schemes are all very well, but what impressed me were its magnificent public spaces. You have to travel quite a way to find cars, buses and motorbikes, and broad pedestrian walkways are lined with so many trees that you can almost fancy yourself in woodland.

From early evening until midnight, the atmosphere around the central plazas and their bar-crammed side streets is as convivial as any I’ve encountered. It’s that familiar Mediterranean thing of people strolling, gossiping, waving wine glasses about, while seniors play cards and kids muck about on the steps of venerable churches.

Yet here it is played out on such a large scale, with such a loud reverberation of conversation through the traffic-free centre – especially Saturday lunchtime and evening – that it feels not unlike being at an excellent party.

Vitoria is less a city of sights – although noble 15th and 16th-century palaces and gorgeous, narrow-fronted belle époque houses with glassed-fronted verandas abound.
— Tim Pozzi in the Daily Telegraph May 2013

View of first section of walk - Click to enlarge.

In late 2004 Estibaliz Buesa Diaz and Neil Edwards were commissioned by the city council of Vitoria-Gasteiz in northern Spain to prepare designs for a new green corridor through the centre of the medieval quarter to showcase the city wall and provide a fully accessible route through the Medieval quarter from the Plaza de Machete to the 13th-century cathedral de Santa Maria.

Animation of route through medieval quarter.

Vitoria’s pièce de resistance, however, and which should on no account be missed, is the 13th-century cathedral of Santa María. In 1994 it was closed because of “structural problems” – it was falling down. A guided tour of the restoration process, on scaffolded walkways and via narrow stone staircases, offers a privileged perspective from every angle, from bowels to bell tower. It’s a narrative of architectural problem-solving rather than religion, and absolutely fascinating.
— Tim Pozzi in the Daily Telegraph May 2013

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