Text description provided by the architects. A few months ago we published Student Housing in Sant Cugat del Vallès, a project by dataAE + HARQUITECTES, originally completed two years ago. The architects have kindly shared updated images of the project, which show how vegetation has become integrated into the façade of the building and in the courtyard. In addition, they sent Polaroid images—taken by the architects themselves—that demonstrate how the spaces have become appropriated and occupied by the students. For more information about the project, see the text from the architect after the break.
The new dwelling house for university students is located in the same block as the Vallès Architecture School. The project proposed intends to keep its balance among the existing buildings, outside areas and the new dwelling house, which is formed from two parallel to street blocks layed out over two floors and separated by a central atrium.
Since it is a dwelling house for architecture students, we have come up with a program that permits intense connections among the users both individual and group level, owing to the interior flexibility of the apartments and the potential use of the atrium as an event space.
The project banks on industrialized construction by using just one housing module type made of pre-formed concrete without partition walls. Each unit has just the necessary fixed elements, simplifying finishing and installations. Most of the components are installed and assembled by dry-build systems so every module and its finishing can be dismantled and reused or highly recyclable. The building is layered out over two floors in order to take advantage of the existing topography making accessible entrances without the need of using elevators and to reduce a 50 percent of square meters in corridors and stairs. The central atrium will be covered* in order to create an intermediate bioclimatic space that increases the energy efficiency of the building and, at the same time, economizes the building enclosure.
The cycle of life analysis demonstrates that this project saves up to 50 percent the energy associated to construction materials and a 70 percent the energy demand in respect to standard buildings according to CTE regulations.
*the atrium is going to be covered with a greenhouse roof next year