- Design Team: Elisabetta Carnevale, David Pradas Ruiz,
- Clients: Private
- Consultants: Avel·lí Hernández
Text description provided by the architects. The MIBI yoga centre, on the ground floor of a residential building, was built with prefabricated rammed earth blocks. It is the first project using this technique in the Barcelona area.
Earth was widely used in vernacular architecture in this region, as in most regions of Europe. It was replaced by concrete and bricks over the last decades, but it is a material of the future: earth is a low-carbon material, it is a natural and locally available resource and it is completely recyclable.
Programme and design. The floor plan counterpoises a set of diagonal lines to the orthogonal distribution of the existing building, guiding the users from the reception to the rear terrace. Two lines of light run along this path, highlighting the texture of the earthen walls and creating a cozy atmosphere. The visual mass of the earthen walls contrasts with their glazed upper part, which lets in natural light. Sight can cross through the venue, giving a glimpse of the rear terrace.
The reception has been designed as particularly luminous space, thanks to multiple direct and indirect light sources. The wooden custom-made furniture follows the diagonal lines of the space. On the floor, two different materials mark the limit between the reception, paved with natural slate, and the yoga zone, where people walk barefoot, paved with bamboo.
From the reception, the hallway leads us to the multifunctional hall, that opens onto the rear terrace. Here, barefoot, sitting, or lying on the floor, people experience the sight and the touch of the wooden and earthen surfaces. A massage room is located in the inner part of the yoga centre.
The psychotherapy room occupies the corner of the building, behind the shop windows, because this was the most appropriate zone for this activity according to Feng Shui philosophy. To allow placing such an intimate room next to the sidewalk and on the corner of the block, two earthen walls were built in the inferior part of the former shop windows. This created an enveloping and cosy space for the psychotherapy room, surrounded by four earthen walls. This design also materialises the presence of earth on the outside of the building, characterising the corner of the block.
Bioclimatic features. Choosing earth is part of the passive heating and cooling design of the venue. As a high thermal mass material, the earth evens out temperature fluctuations by time-delayed releasing of absorbed solar heat and provides a stable indoor temperature. Moreover, the earth absorbs moisture from the indoor air and releases it when air gets dry, regulating humidity and providing a healthy living environment.
The result is a sustainable and welcoming venue, which reflects the role of the MiBi yoga center: a refuge for health, well-being, and conscience.