There is a mountain in Barcelona whose summit is the circle of the brave. This is the place where children with cancer are cared for and where they and their families care for the mountain. This is the best view of Barcelona, not because you can see more things, but because from there, we can believe in the stars. To get there, different events take place:

1/ The door we can’t see. To access the mountain we open doors that we can’t see, but that we only know when we walk. By walking we appease our fears.

2/ The garden that contemplates us. When the moment is very fragile, we connect with an independent structure from the hospital itself. The greenhouse is the place from which to contemplate the mountain and care for plants in controlled air. It can house aromatic and ornamental plants for curative purposes without affecting the mountain ecosystem.

3/ Where the light plays. On this flat land among the existing Agbar pines, the youngest children play in an environment of colour and climbing plants with giant swings. A luminous place that always brings hope.

4/ The room open to grow. A small open-air nursery on the Agbar rooftops where you can do things: plant, water, cut and stop thinking. A space where teenagers can have their own place. And take care of plants to give to the mountains or to their families.

5/ A place for meetings. An open space where you can take a break from medicalised environments. The place where everything can be talked about under the shade of the moving leaves. To meet in order to accept; because everything needs to be walked.

6/ The path that takes care of the mountain. The path with its layout and its section reduces the processes of soil erosion and favours the infiltration of water as well as its use for planting and native revegetation. And by walking, at a maximum slope of 6%, we can understand while we and the Mountain became friends.

7/ The circle of the brave, where we can open our arms and look out over the entire landscape of Barcelona and the Mediterranean. It is the place where we meet the magicians, who are children and doctors. The place where we confirm our friendship with the mountain.

For all this to happen in a systemic and integral way, we need a team of people equally involved and specialised with children and plants. People who mediate between the mountain and the hospital.

In this project, each living entity is associated with an institution that represents it. The infrastructures that appear in the surroundings of the PCCB, be they those of Agbar (Water), Parq de Collserola (Mountain) or the Hospital de St. Joan (Bodies), must be placed at the service of young children with cancer to facilitate their access, in conditions of reduced mobility, to an environment that will undoubtedly favour their better and quicker recovery. If we want to make it possible for children with cancer to live and be cured without so much effort, we need institutions to create a virtuous circle of collaboration.

The friendly mountain is thus the gentle support of the fragile thread between the children and the life of the plants.



Direction of the project: Maria Auxiliadora Gálvez Pérez (PSAAP)
Urbamism and Architecture: Mauro Gil-Fournier Esquerra (Arquitecturas Afectivas)
Landscape and green infrastructure: Lorena Torres Modrego and Mikel García de Eulate Castiella
(SOiL landscape architecture)

[Hand drawings by Mauro Gil-Fournier]

Developer: PCCB (Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona)

Date: 2022

Location: Barcelona, Spain.

Status: Third Prize in the International Ideas Competition organized by COAC and PCCB.