13. Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc

View from Library Terrace



This page is dedicated to the written and graphic representation of a Public Space through the use of words, images, maps, diagrams, sounds, videos and imagination. The objective is to document both social and physical aspects of a Public Spaces towards an integrated understanding. This site also welcomes participation as both a quick vote (above) and more in-depth input from neighborhood stakeholders in order to describe the lived experience of the space. Together, we can build a strong body of knowledge of our built environment in order to stimulate informed proposals for the maintenance, improvement or interventions in Public Space.





Quick Description

This plaza is the most successful public space  in Fort Pienc.

Espacio / Place

Early morning view of space

Urban Form

Themes: path, expansion of path, infill lot, interior court, corner lot, block

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc is an expansion of a path and an interior court.


[diagram plan view]

Spatial Characteristics

Area: 3 632 square meters Enclosure: 80% Enclosure height: 1 – 7 stories Permeable surface: > 10% # of trees: >20 Elevation change: 0 # of entrances: 3 Places  to sit: >20 Noise level: minimal external noise

Patterns of Use (click image to enlarge)

Other relevant spatial characteristics include the library terrace that is open to the public during library hours. The terrace is three stories above the plaza below and provides a completely different experience for users that want a quieter outdoor space to sit, read or meet.

Library Terrace: different levels of public use and perspective


Themes: pedestrian, transit, auto

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc is a pedestrian node.

Plaza as a pedestrian node - especially helped by the ample access

Sphere of Influence / Catchment Area

Themes: local-neighborhood, metropolitan, regional, national, international

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc has local-neighborhood influence and is mainly used by local citizens who either live or work in the Fort Pienc neighborhood. Some people who work in the neighborhood come for the Market that opens onto the plaza on the weekends.


Themes: walk, bike, public transport (metro, bus, other), private automobile, parking

Most users walk to the plaza  along Ribes Street that is a pedestrian street and continues through the plaza.

Some users come on bikes, and there is one station for bike-parking and a Bici Station within 200 meters.

Bike racks

For users who come by public transport, the Metro is 600 meters from the plaza and a new access point is planned in the Plaza Andre Malraux, which will make the Metro less than 400 meters from the Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc


Themes: pedestrian, auto, natural (light, air, water, flora, fauna)

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc allows plenty of pedestrian access through two entrances off the street.

Automobile access is limited to vehicles that support the surrounding programs, such as city vehicles for the library, vehicles to clean the plaza or to help set up for a festival.

There is good natural access to light, air and city birds often congregate around trees. Water is not a visible natural element in the plaza.

Destination / Transition

Themes: public space as a destination, public space as transition

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc is both a transition and a destination for people in the neighborhood. The main reason the plaza is a destination is becuase such a large variety of different programs have their entrances directly opening onto the plaza (library, school, senior home, market, cafe-bars). The fact that Ribes Street traverses the plaza creates an useful pedestrian path that cuts across the regular Cerda grid of the Eixample. The form of the space and the fact that it can be accessed from three different locations adds to both destination / transition functions.

Riding through Plaza Fort Pienc


Themes: connections to other public spaces, connections to access points

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc has the and potential of connection to Ribes Street the space at Ribes-Napols-Ali Bei-Sicilla, and Lina Òdena Gardens.

Uso / Use



Themes: social interaction, passive recreation (solitary, group), active recreation (solitary, group), habitat, resource production, resource remediation

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc facilitates social interaction on many levels. The most dramatic occurs between children and parents on weekdays after school. The three distinct sitting areas are often occupied by senior citizens as well as others. The two bar-cafes, the library and the market also draw people to the plaza.

Layers of Interaction

Most adults enjoy group and solitary passive recreation in the space, sitting, observing, talking and reading; children practice active recreation, playing ball, riding bicycles, rollerblading and skateboarding all over the plaza.

Civic Uses

Themes: civic participation, protest

The plaza is open for all forms of civic participation; interested parties often set up booth-tables to engage residents here because it is the most popular space in the neighborhood.

Politics in Public Space - Advocating for the independence of Catalunya

While graffiti in the plaza is not tolerated (a scribble regarding pensions was promptly washed away, although the shadow of the markings remained for many days), other – non-property damaging forms for expression are represented by banners on walls and hung from trees on a festival day set up by the young people of the municipally funded Espai Jove (Young People’s Space).

Public Proclamations: Love and Mocking in Fort Pienc

Time of Use

Themes: daily, weekday, weekend, seasonal, event

The space is used daily, with high levels of use weekday afternoons after school, and weekend mornings for leisure strolling. The space is also used for community events, festivals and calçotades.

Calçotada in Plaza

The time of use of the plaza is also highly dependent on the hours of the adjacent program spaces. When the school lets out at five in the afternoon, the plaza fills with children and parents until around seven in the evening on warm days. People also fill the plaza when the library closes for two hours every afternoon.


Themes: commercial (food, drink, goods, services, sights), institutional (school, library, church), natural (passive, productive)

The Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc includes commercial uses: two cafe-restaurant-bar establishments with outdoor sitting that are accessed from and open onto the plaza, and one super-market, and one inddor market with individual sellers.

Private (cafe - foreground) and public (library and school - background) program support

The plaza also includes institutional program: a public library and an elementary school.

Gente / People


Themes: children, adolescents, adults, seniors, dogs, other species

Children, adults and seniors are the most numerous users of the space. So far, few adolescents have been observed in the space for extended periods of time.

Passive and Active recreation

Dogs are allowed in the space, on leash.

Birds, including pigeons, parrots use the plaza.

Urban Nature: Birds in the Plaza


Themes: residents, tenants, shop owners, community organizations, politicians / administrators

Stakeholders in the Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc include all the users of the space, the owners of the bar-restaurant-cafe, the users of the library, the users and vendors of the markets and the children and parents of those in attendance (past, present and future) at the elementary school.


Themes: local, community, non-governmental organizations, governmental organizations, educational, city-planning, non-profit, volunteer, grass-roots

Organizations with ties to the Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc are the Espai Jove de L’Eixample, Centre Civic Fort Pienc, Biblioteca de Fort Pienc, CEIP Fort Pienc, Centre de dia – Redidencia Geriatrica Fort Pienc.

Identidad / Identity


Themes: hidden, memorialized

Aerials of Fort Pienc Plaza (left to right) year of image: 2000, 2004, 2010

According to ProEixample the public society that began the re-development of the area that is now the Fort Pienc Plaza:

The site, which years ago was occupied by two metallurgical factories, now houses different amenities: the library, a nursery school, a home for the elderly and the new Fort Pienc market, all placed inside a modern building designed by the architect Josep Llinàs.

Right in the middle of the block, the Plaça de Fort Pienc, closed to traffic from Carrer de Ribes, has already become the neighbourhood meeting point, a place for leisure and the community spirit.

The history of the name of Fort Pienc, neighborhood and plaza, are commemorated on this plaque found in the plaza:

Plaza Plaque commemorating history of Fort Pienc


Themes: who, how, why / intention

The public society ProEixample catalyzed the project for Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc.

The architect Josep Llinàs designed the plaza which was built between 2001-2003. He notes the following considerations in the design of the space and surrounding buildings:

Basically, the criterion of design was to strictly subordinate all the buildings to the site to Ribes street (whose centre was widened in order to generate an independent, static square).

This aim led us to “plastify” the geometry of the senior citizens’ home in order to fold it and make it face this public area, to link (and magnify) all the entrances to this square and to work using design instruments that solved the specific needs of each function and expressed their scale (which differs so widely between a market and a nursery school, for example) and at the same time determine common relations of volumetrics and materials among such a seperate cluster of buildings.

Program Support

Themes: public, private, nonprofit, combo

Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc has a combination of support programs: private-commercial support from the two bar-restaurant-cafes that have sitting in the plaza, public support from the school, library and senior home.

Image of Place

Themes: imageability, memory, identity

As stated by ProEixample, the Civic Center Plaza Fort Pienc is a “neighbourhood meeting point, a place for leisure and the community spirit.” Overall, the image of the plaza seems to be that of the center of the neighborhood of Fort Pienc, at least south of Gran Via de Cortes Catalanes, which acts as an edge between the north and south portions of the neighborhood.

Projects and Information

Trans-Art Laboratori: Cartogradia Oberta Fort Pienc

Interactive Map

Top of the Page Please!


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