September 17, 2017

Port of Tossa de Mar

Last year, Tossa was presented with a plan to build a port. The locals didn't like it, and counter propaganda was unleashed, warning of the reckless plunder of the coastline. It described the port as bait, a distraction concealing a nearby architectural project overlooking the sea, now under construction.

Tossa de Mar was once a fishing village and now a tourist destination, a small pueblo situated at the bottom of the craggy Costa Brava, almost exactly between Barcelona and the French Border, merging the Pyrenees with the Mediterranean Sea. A marvel of countless coves and tiny inlets, the forested mountainous region has slowed development to the advantage of its bountiful natural beauty. The plan involved a tunnel punched through the craggy coastline from Tossa's central bus station. Vehicle traffic would then connect to a standard L-shaped breakwater, piers and service structures at the shoreline.

A significant amount of the coast would have to be modified -defaced- in order for this to happen. I thought about alternatives to this and few other locations along the coastline avoided the identical set of problems. But what if they flipped the plan? What if instead of bringing auto and truck traffic to the water, they instead brought the ships inland via the tunnel they were already willing to contemplate?

I checked out the topological maps and plotted the site for an interior harbor. It could be behind the existing bus terminal, the heart of the town. Behind it, a small semi level valley could be modified, nestling the project into unused land (currently parking lots, a few homes, farmland gone fallow and little else besides this). The tunnel would need a canal/lock system to raise water traffic to the level of the interior harbor. Once inland, all of the infrastructure needed for the port could be arrayed around it and an assortment of mixed urban programs (shopping, hotels, apartments, civic functions, etc.) could frame the harbor.

And the coastline cold be kept intact, save a small entrance tucked into the crags behind Tossa's Codolar Cove.


Posted by Dennis at September 17, 2017 4:06 PM

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