2015 - Via A66


Space Popular's urban vision for the redevelopment of Highway A66 in Oviedo, Spain. 







Oviedo Spain



Completed. Unawarded

Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg, Jariyaporn Prachasartta, Kanyaphorn Kaewprasert, Kornkamon Kaewprasert

Oviedo Ayuntamiento

Self-driven cars intersect with temporary lightweight structures as they no longer pose a threat to pedestrians.

Via-A66 is an urban design proposal to transform the last 2km of highway A66 that provide access to the city of Oviedo and around which the city has grown, causing an incongruence by having a 50 km/h limitation in a 4-lane road and obstructing the natural development of connections between neighbourhoods in either side.  

The proposal supports a new model of urban coexistence, a thoroughfare that integrates the imminent incorporation of the intelligent car and motion tracking devices into the public realm to enable the natural flocking of diverse species such as cars, cyclists, pedestrians, animals and ephemeral structures. 

The visionary nature of the proposal has not stopped us from resolving mundane issues shared by many small to medium sized european cities and which we believe should be tackled with long term strategies rather than sequential patchwork. 


Master plan showing the organisation of the 2km proposal.

We propose to dispense with elevated infrastructures which provide unfriendly thoroughfares at the expense of generating dead-space below and disconnecting upper and lower levels without providing any extra activity. Instead we propose to use the whole site as a new boulevard in which drivers, pedestrians and cyclists can coexist and interact. 


We propose to disperse lanes (maintaining its number), hence to suppress the possibility for overtakes (following the limitation of 50 km/h in the whole area). Thus, pedestrian crossing is possible. Moreover, the new routes are now a series of different scenic lanes for drivers to enjoy; surrounded by trees, urban structures and people the arrival to the city gives a pleasing first impression for tourists and creates an incentive for everyday users to slow down. 


We discard underground circulation and instead bet on the future car (electric and self-driven) as a tool for coexistence amongst all users of the public thoroughfare. We envision all users flocking in a shared mega-lane where traffic lights or crosswalks are not needed anymore thanks to motion tracking devices and human awareness.  

Plug-in urban furniture can be distributed freely anywhere across the grid.


In order to facilitate spontaneous events we propose a light, fast and easy construction system, similar to scaffolding, which connects to plugs embedded on the ground surface distributed strategically across different areas. Thanks to TensAirity, a revolutionary italian construction technology, the weight of the structures can be significantly reduced, making it possible for a small group of people without heavy duty machinery or special tools to put together a market kiosk, a pop-up restaurant or a stage for a concert. Thus the boulevard becomes a transformable and active space with basic underlying planning (thanks to the strategic arrangement of plugs) to guarantee appropriate circulation flow whilst accommodating change and experimentation. 


Bridges provide poor connections between the neighbourhoods annexed to the highway, not providing any activities or promoting collaboration between areas in opposing sides. We propose a boulevard of opportunities as an ode to the neighbourhoods in the area. Each neighbourhood is represented by a slight different tone on the surface of corresponding section of the boulevard, both so that different areas in the site can be identified and also as a representation of the merging of neighbourhoods 


We propose planting the widest variety of species possible: trees, bushes, climbers and vegetables suitable to the local climate (though not necessarily local species) would proliferate in the boulevard, providing recreational areas, plantation zones and and experimental allotments for testing out new activities, take a walk or exercise.