The Gateway,

SP architecture workshop

Our aim is to contemplate the environment from a different point of view and to transform an unusual site into a thriving destination, drawing unexpected connections towards, around and beyond the space.

The site is located just outside Logroño in a fascinating area close to the district of El Cortijo. The area is embraced by the Ebro river and is characterised by a viticultural environment. The plot is located on the edge of Viña Lanciano’s vineyard, where during the Roman times the Mantible bridge joined the two river’s banks creating an important connection. Today Mantible bridge has been declared a National Monument and of Cultural Interest.

Sense of place
We propose an installation with a beautiful visual impact and with a strong relationship to the present and past history of the site. The Gateway is a semi-circular structure inspired by the western arch of Mantible bridge, expressed in a contemporary interpretation. The aim is to reinforce the character of the place turning it into a destination for social and cultural events.
Contextual integration
We propose an installation in a poetic, rediscovered place truly immersed in nature, inspiring visitors to pause and reflect. The arch is proposed to be set out parallel to the rows of the vineyard and perpendicular to its internal path establishing a relationship to the context. The alignment of the arch to the solar path plays with the light and the shadows projected onto the river and the vineyard, accentuating the perception of the surrounding environment.

Sensorial experience
The arches of Mantible bridge were historically used to support the structure to form a physical connection across the river Ebro. Our proposal, The Gateway, aims to establish a symbolic connection between the two river banks through a sensorial and visual experience. The proposed arch supports a simple rope swing, allowing visitors a unique ride “within” the surrounding vineyard. We propose a playful gesture involving movement and participation to encourage reflection and contemplation. The visitor is invited to swing through the Gateway, generating a movement which stimulates a range of sensation, from a calming rhythm to the excitement of rapid travel through space and time, absorbed in an environment of singular beauty.

The arch is formed by a series of prefabricated plywood modules which have been designed to make an efficient use of the 33 Laudio Deco Plywood panels provided by Garnica. The plywood modules echoe the wedge-shaped stone voussoirs, these are fixed together to replicate the exact diameter of the roman arch on the western bank of Mantible bridge. To facilitate the construction process, each one of the 45 trapezoidal blocks is equal and pre-assembled with a traditional, yet robust, timber joint. The arch is a stable and efficient structure where each element works in compression, stabilised by the force of gravity and the weight of the swing itself. Each block distributes its load to the one below, which is then transferred to a bracket anchored to the ground.

Sustainability & Re-Use
We propose a sustainable installation, that celebrates the local natural materials and stimulates the local economy. We envisage an extended lifespan for the timber modules in order to reduce waste after the installation’s disassembly. To support a sustainable strategy and the circular economy, each module is proposed to be re-used in a creative alternative way.


Authors: SP architecture workshop
Location: Logroño, Spain.
Year: 2021
Competition: Concentrico 07.