Collective Housing | Competition | Barcelona | 2017

It is all about preserve: preserve the existence, preserve the façade, preserve the spirit of the place, even preserve the staircase gap! The proposal explores the chance to take advantage of the conditions already in there. The structure grid organises the new habitable units and allow for designing open spaces. These ones are bedrooms, living rooms, offices…whatever the user wants to do with it. And that is the point! Freedom within old grids.

But all of that has to be climatized with no much money. To optimise the natural flow of the air, a “LacatonVassal” implemented gallery distances the dwelling from the old façade that changes itself into loggia and brise-soleil for the {let’s say kind of} balconies. So this is natural air thickness instead of artificial wall isolation. The air comes into the open space and evacuates through the “humid zone”. The cores have a double-skin wall in which systems run from the bottom to the top; it is also a plenum so the air flows by pressure difference and ventilates the entire building thanks to the rooftop Venturi cones.

On the other hand, the ground floor is a bit tricky, not for its complexity, but for the different solutions. It is not part of the building anymore but an extension of the back plaza of Victor Balaguer. Thus, the ground floor and the public space supply one to each other for the commercial activity. It is a big Barcelona-style market, a young brother of La Boquería, Santa Caterina and San Antonio. It is not anymore about 150m2 enclosures but 1500m2 commercial free-shaped plan.