Tomorrow the final phase of Europe’s largest shopping and leisure center, Puerto Venecia, will take place in Zaragoza. Designed by L35 architectural firm and promoted by Eurofund Investments Zaragoza, it has a lake as its main feature, around which, a complete shopping and leisure selection is accessed from an outdoor landscaped space.
With 120,000 m² of GLA and 159 stores, Puerto Venecia will become the largest shopping and leisure center in Europe. The project was launched in 2000, beginning operation in 2007. This first phase focused on Furniture and home appliances organized along an open Retail Park, with brands such as Leroy Merlin, IKEA or Conforama, among others.
The final phase opening includes a two level fashion mall, family entertainment area, cinema, sport and adventure area, grouped around a 7.500 m² boating lake. The lakes water is supplied from Aragon’s Imperial Canal, serving as a natural irrigation reservoir throughout the resort. Leisure activity takes place around it, inviting everyone to enjoy nature along the centers landscaped outdoor facilities.
Emerging from a pine forest, embraced by the deserts distinctive character, L35 designed this project as an icon of modernity. Although large, Puerto Venecia’s complex is structured by a simple linear open space. Gardens and water are landscaped to achieve its unique character. In developments of this size, because of the horizontal dimension predominance, buildings were designed with different textures, volumes, materials to accomplish a rich and diverse urban development built over time.
The entire complex has been designed according to a carefully outlined functional zoning: The two level Mall building stands on the North. The lake area with retail units and restaurants on the waterfront are located on the West surrounded by lower and intimate scaled buildings. Leisure and sports equipment facilities on ground floor level are located South while the Cinema Square with entertainment venues and restaurants are located upstairs.
The projects most important architectural highlights are the Mall’s "wave" like skylight, with its undulating silhouette profile identifying the shopping malls building from a distance and the sculptural rock shaped volumes inspired by Aragon’s desert landscape.
The volumetric complexity and the use of different materials, textures and colors on surfaces and roofs, result in richness and formal quality. The contrast between natural materials such as wood, marble, granite and slate, with industrially processed ones, such as aluminum and glass curtain walls, zinc, aluminum composite trays, metal mesh and fiber cement panels have been deliberately sought to link nature and artifice, tradition and modernity.
A sustainable project, designed with a specific environmental program
Puerto Venecia has been designed following a coordinated program to ensure environmental sustainability. Located next to a large pine forest, it has provided an additional 10,000 tree plantation, the construction of a bike path over 10 miles long and hundreds of bike racks.
Puerto Venecia buildings are designed so that energy consumption is minimized, while promoting the use of alternative energy (photovoltaic panels, natural ventilation and sunlight optimization). Also, potable water is used exclusively for human consumption.
Puerto Venecia expects to minimize road traffic to avoid road congestion and reduce CO2 generation by promoting the use of public transport. Systems minimizing energy consumption and waste management have taken into account the environmental high sun exposure. According to Eduardo Simarro, senior partner of L35 Architects, "Puerto Venecia is an ambitious project: perhaps unique in Spain. It gathers differential qualities in relation to other similar projects, especially for its layout, surrounding a lake and more than 25,000 square meters of green areas with a broad type of selected species.”
Puerto Venecia in figures:
• ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN: L35
Teams Contributors: NB 35 (structures), PGI Grup (installations), Theo Kondos (lighting), Mike Smith and Dos a Dos (landscaping).
• DEVELOPER: ZARAGOZA Eurofund Investments
• BUILT AREA: 275,000 m2
• GLA: 120,000 m2
• Parking lot: 3900
These figures include the building of El Corte Inglés design and construction are not by L35