42 RESIDENTIAL UNITS, Forum Area (Bcn)

Location: C/ Anaís Nin and Llull. FORUM Area, Barcelona
Programme: 42 residential units, parking and commercial premises
Date: Sep2000 (contest), mar 2001-jul 2006 (project), Feb 2007-Jul 2008 (construction)
Prop. Developer: Municipal Housing Board of Barcelona
Consultants: BOMA – Ll. Moya (structures), RC – G. Crespo (MEP), Jordi Cabonell (budget)
Construction Firm: CORSAN-CORVIAM
Area (m2): 4.625 m2
Budget (€): 4.278.253 €

-Finalist AVS 2009 Subsidized Housing in Catalonia.

The building is part of an ensemble of 3 blocks (Coll & Leclerc +Gustau Gili +BOPBAA) located in the Barcelona newly recuperated Forum area, north of Herzog &de Meuron building.
The building has 42 apartments, commercial premises at ground floor and underground parking, common to the 3 blocks. Of the 42 dwellings, 12 have 3 bedrooms and the remaining 30 only 2 bedrooms. The larger units have been placed along the street and smaller ones onto the inner courtyard.
The floor plans are arranged in longitunal strips so that both long façades, one facing the street the other the courtyard, have a symmetrical structure. The center strip is occupied by a fixed core of services and communication (vertical distribution of services and people) flanked on each side by a ring of service space (horizontal distribution to each dwelling), which is configured as a large occupiable corridor, either as an extension of the living room or by appliances for bathing or washing. The outer ring is completely loose and could be reprogrammed eventually in the future to allow for a change of use or user. It consists in the bedrooms, living rooms, all using up the façade. The decision to place the core on the inside, serves exactly the purpose of liberating the maximum façade for living, serving 4 dwellings on each floors. The housing typology avoids the typical cross-ventilation scheme of small front and very deep and is rotated 90 degrees to obtain 12 meters-front x 5 meter deep housing units. Hierarchy between children and parents, night and day is avoided in the quest for a greater polyvalence of the spaces along the outer strips providing equal ventilation, lighting, views, size and are therefore interchangeable or modifiable (extended or eliminated)
The two main 44 meters-long facades use galvanized steel construction.
On the outer facade to the street Anais Nin (Northeast) we embedded a steel structure that allows the mounting of large balconies finished with pine wood. The balconies’ structure is galvanized in hot baths. Steel mesh flooring support is screwed to the galvanized structure and finished with pine wood planks in a workshop. The finished balconies are thus assembled on the façade avoiding the thermal bridge problem usually derived from overhanging concrete slabs. The resulting balconies are light, very large and come in 2 different sizes (2.50 x1, 30m2 and 1.80 x1, 80m2) to be used as lookouts, solarium, or green space. There are balconies that stretch to catch the eastern sun rays and views.
The interior façade facing the southwest courtyard is protected with a double skin, a continuous 60 cm-deep gallery made up of stretched wire mesh Horturbá devices are used as dividers between properties, domestic garden furniture with irrigation to allow for plants to grow and climb the mesh façade, protecting the dwelling from the sun from the west.