Architects: Ricardo Flores, Eva Prats
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Collaborators: Constanza Chara, Fotini Trigonaki, Natalia Uribe, Celia Carroll, Robyn Creagh, Christine van Sluys, Laura Geraci, Jorge Lopez, Abdulla Al-Shamsi, Javier Lecumberri, Mar Garrido, Maria Amat, Elvire Thouvenot, Eirene Presmanes, Andrea Schneider, Filippo Abrami, Arabella Masson, Jorge Casajús, Horacio Arias, Ellen Barten, Michelle Lopez, Nadia Mustopo, Lars Bach, Jonny Pugh
Area: 14000.0 sqm
Photography: Duccio Malagamba, Adrià Goula, Àlex Garcia
From the architect. This building of 111 social dwellings is placed in the eastern limits of Terrassa, looking onto an open landscape. The proposal turns the inside space of the block into a semi-public square, essential for the life of the building: all the inhabitants enter from the street through this central square, a place of crossing paths, a meeting place. From here you enter into the staircase vestibule and then into the flats, through a progressive sequence of scales.
This community square makes the whole block work as an intermediate element between city and landscape. The transition from the city to the house, the linking of these two opposites, is carried out using a rich sequence that brings the user from one situation to the other gradually. The aim of this progressive passage is to dissolve the limits between public and private spaces.
Special attention was paid to the natural lighting of the underground parking. This aim was realised by adding holes in the central square: this allows views down to the parking ramp and to a large pot with three trees. These three Acacias are planted in the lowest level of the building, and from there they reach the level of the square, connecting the entire section.
As the houses are of reduced dimensions, the project focuses in providing extensions of them into terraces, balconies, and halls at the ground floor, an entrance square, and a series of intermediate spaces that allow the flat not to be restricted by its floor plan but to extend out beyond it. The distribution of the houses closes just two rooms: one bedroom and the bathroom. The rest of the spaces are in a continuous flow, passing from one to another, establishing a series of situations that connect back to a view of the entrance courtyard and to the nearby pines forest.
The building rises out of a landscape consisting of pine trees and dried streams. The texture of this landscape suggests a facade formed by shadows and texture. The façade attends to this character of the place, proposing a concrete façade, built in situ, which presents texture and imperfection. Flowing over the cavities of this concrete surface, light creates continuity with the surrounding landscape. Also, the facade prepares to be seen from different distance approaches. From afar the building could be read as one unit, not showing clearly its size and scale… preventing the ability to understand its real dimensions. From close up the facade creates complicity, a connection with the passer-by who touches, leans on it.