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Baena Casamor Arquitectes BCQ S.L.P., Barcelona, Spain

Wednesday 29 Feb 2012

Brightening up the city

BCQ arquitectura barcelona 
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BCQ proposes a small but important structural and visual city renovation 

Prior to the intervention this was an urban void, simply an unfinished piece of city; a junction of streets in V-shaped in an urban surrounding inhabited mostly by workers from Andalucía and Extremadura. Even though that the residential buildings in this neighbourhood present a very modest architecture, they sometimes have colourful façades. From the original situation it seemed important for the architects to preserve the joy and the colour of the facades of the neighbourhood and take the opportunity to remodel a small urban space next to the new building through the resource which the residents of the neighbourhood have always used: the colour.

One of the main challenges of the project was the integration between the façade and the public space, and to provide the space for a new use, hence the flexible pavement and the large commercial premise on the ground floor of the new building. Vehicles were replaced by trees, children's playground and a bar with a terrace area.

The building is conceived as a large facade of the same colour as the pavement of the square. Thus, the facade becomes a vertical extension of the square. Whilst the square became a horizontal extension of the facade.

Despite having had to dispense the free surface parking, the neighbours preferred that the surface for pedestrian use was larger and should be extended by one of the neighbouring streets. The houses are now occupied by new tenants. The children use the playground. The elderly and also especially the children have celebrated the colour of the pavement and there is great anticipation for the use of the large commercial premises which will give more life to the new public space. Definitely, it is not large parks what they need at this moment.

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Baena Casamor Arquitectes BCQ S.L.P.

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