Life on every corner...

James
Monday 09 Jan 2012

Berta Barrio and Sergi Godia architects complete a 14 storey residential tower

This 14 storey tower of 77 protected dwellings is located in a new area of growth of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat belonging to the metropolitan area of Barcelona, Spain. This new neighbourhood of 30 office towers, hotels, commercial areas, luxury housing and social housing is close to Bellvitge, a working-class neighbourhood (1964) where the type of tower became something negative because of low quality of the buildings. The client's aims, INCASOL (a Government public housing Developer), were to build quality social housing with healthy, modern and sustainable flats developed within the economic standard.

The tower design uses passive measures sustainable based on the experience and knowledge of the Mediterranean climate and constructive logic using the basic elements of air, light and water. With 6 dwellings per floor, the volume is broken to have all flats on corner with a minimum of two facades with different orientations. In this way it gets the natural cross ventilation and it increases the surface of natural lighting. This singular 12 corners tower is divided into 4 smaller volumes that give it an image of slenderness in a typology fixed by the urban plan, that appears to be far distance from this vertical order.

The building reproduces the classic plan for a tower with a structural central nucleus that sustains and feeds the building and which holds the communications of stairs and lifts together with the risers for the installations. Wet areas (kitchens and bathrooms) are arranged concentrically with living rooms and bedrooms in the perimeter enjoying the sun, light and good views. The diagonal relationship in the main rooms of the house provides a greater feeling of spaciousness and depth. Repetition, prefabrication and modular combination of window units (614 one) and GRC panels (lightweight concrete) economise the construction and ensure quality. The tower was completed in 2010.

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