Sky high

Friday 13 Jul 2007

Dominique Perrault Architecture designs Hotel Habitat in Barcelona

An arrangement of elementary forms creates the building’s reference signs: a 25 meter high canopy in the style of a loggia points to the Tower; a protuberance in a form of a cantilever creates a “crest” in the vertical city skyline; the cube shifts back to free up a a small square like a terrace that opens onto Calle Lope de Vega. At the base of the building are the activities linked to movement and meeting such as the hotel lobby, the restaurants, the meeting rooms, the swimming pool and the day and night bars. The main unit holds the individual and double rooms, and the suites that open onto the sea or the mountain, with views towards the Sagrada Familia. The interior design and comfort of the hotel are based on the generous views from each room, like a giant screen overlooking the city landscape. This screen is articulated by a series of smaller screens in the manner of television sets, which form a “wall of images”. The result is a building clad in an armour of aluminium sheets with large circular perforations. This protecting skin is unchangeable: it is produced from thick sheets of anodised aluminium-dense, stiff and corrosion-proof. It is a living skin because it “plays” with the light: shimmering on one side, shaded on the other, transparent at the corners of the Tower, opaque and closed along the crestwith a saw-tooth finish on the edge of the terraces.The tower will stand out in the Barcelona skyline like a metal needle; a lively, happy “jewel”, with red, blue and green glass distributed at random along the facade like a giant stained glass window. At night, the tower turns into a “urban la tern, a luminous symbol of the Diagonal.

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Commercial Offices Civic Buildings

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