Social Housing Tower Of 75 Units In Europa Square / Roldán + Berengué

© Jordi Surroca

Architects: Roldán + Berengué
Location: Barcelona,
Project area: 7,660 sqm
Project year: 2005 – 2010
Photographs: Jordi Surroca

© Jordi Surroca

The tower E.I.O.5 is a project of social housing promoted by INCASOL and it is located in a new central zone known as Plaça Europa (Europa Square). The Europa Square, according to Albert Viaplana’s Project, it is shaped as the last nude in Llobregat’s direction of the squares se- quence that, approximately each kilometer, marking the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes.

© Jordi Surroca

The urban model of the Europa Square is a generous public space opened to each side of Gran Via which concentrates, with other buildings, 26 towers of tertiary and residential uses, publics and privates, between 15 and 20 floors. Tower 5 is located in the farthest crown from the Gran Via which runs half- undergrounded.

For all the buildings of this last ring, most of them public housing promoted by different clients, distribution laws in the master planning fix a maximum floor dimension of 24×24 m, as well as height in which should be located the first floor structure and the crowing point of the towers.

© Jordi Surroca

The piece we had built was an object of public client’s competition in February 2005. In our proposal rescaling the tower according to its position as a piece in the limit with the consolidate fabric of Hospitalet trying to visualize with the building a movement between Europa Square and the blocks of 5 floors that form the surrounding. Grouping together floors from 3 to 3, the image of the tower, perceived in some kind of cinematographic long plan, could approximate to a building of 5 floors of height.

© Jordi Surroca

Consequently the scale of the windows, according to that law of grouping them, is also transforming in frames of 10 meters height and different thickness. In order to be more accurate, the facade and windows, this last ones with a sequential number and modulated in pieces with similar dimensions to a door (0.8 x 2,10 m), succeeding in different planes with a depth that range between 50 cm and 1,2 meter and emphasises the concept of big inverted tribunes. In each section of the tower the first floor of every serial of 3 is a balcony.

© Jordi Surroca

As some of the images in a “short plane” we have done for the competition show us, this frames avoid vertigo impression because between the interior and the outside of the apartment there is always an intermediate element: balconies, jambs, or the lintels of this big holes.

The election of the elements for the facade’s assembly has been done paying attention to a comparative study of several constructive solutions which evaluated the origin of already recycled materials, its natural origin and the capacity for being recycled at the end of its useful life. Likewise, was also valuated the expense of fabrication energy and the recovered politics of the surplus energy genera- ted during the production process. Materially, the facade is constructed with a sheet of 8 mm of thickness of high pressure laminate panels hanging of hidden structure of recycled aluminium perfiles. Black frames are made of aluminium composite panels 4mm of thickness which brings equal resistance with a lower weight per m2 to any other material with the same features.

© Jordi Surroca

Resuming, all materials used in the tower’s construction are 100% recyclable and specifically the ones used in the facade come from a 65% and 100% already recycled materials.

ground floor plan

The tower is set in floor plane as two towers with T form circulation corridor and two scales in the extremes across the one illuminates the interior in the circulation zone. Every tower has two apartments of 69 m2 in the extremes and one of 56 m2 in the central position. Totally, the program is of 75 units. In this project, the apartment unit’s distribution begins in the 14th floor and keeps descending so the compacted residential volume from the superior floor releases a space of 3 levels height with a T form in the access. This piece, generous in volume and “sober” in measures and finishing materials, in its longest dimension it ends being a street with accesses in the extremes and has unusual dimensions for the building’s entrance hall of usual public housing buildings.


We think that big frames of the facades as well as the space of the entrance hall, work like intermediate spaces of relation, shaping the community scale, between the individual and private scale of the houses and the public city scale.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Social Housing Tower Of 75 Units In Europa Square / Roldán + Berengué" 25 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Andrew

    Looks very gloomy and depressing; I would hate to have to live there.

    • Vitor Lucas

      only the mood of the photographs. not the architecture

  • mtt2111

    Great job!

  • Bernard

    Looks very sleek and elegant. I would love to live there.

  • sander marco

    compliments to the photographer.
    facade is nothing special, see a couple of these everyday on different design sites. the three interior pictures do look nice, are there pictures of the actual appartments? building on its self looks out of proportion. it looks too chubby.

  • alex

    the first 5 images are prime candidates for my new blog ‘rendering or real?’