Orms’ Barcelona plans gather pace

Nick Myall
16 May 2017

Orms submits proposals for student and first-time renters housing hub in Barcelona

Shoreditch-based architectural practice Orms has recently submitted a proposal for the final Plan Especial approval for a 30,000 sq m new-build residential scheme along one of Barcelona’s main thoroughfares – Avinguda Meridiana.

Situated on an infill site, the proposals are for a 700 unit building that will house a mixture of students and first-time renters in a city block that was part of the original plan for the expansion of Barcelona by the seminal urban planner Ildefons Cerdà in the mid-nineteenth century. This vacant site in a bustling part of Barcelona currently creates an unsightly break along this historic streetscape and so Orms’ proposal will re-stitch the urban fabric with the residential buildings to each side.

At street level the proposal activates the Meridiana side of the building with some retail units and a double height shared workspace for students. Cafes, bars and a bike workshop line the more suburban Carrer de Concepción Arena side of the building – which will allow residents and locals to integrate and take advantage of the west evening sunlight overlooking the adjacent Canòdrom, a creative research park in the La Segrera district.

A planned central external staircase will lead to a podium where a series of inter-locking social spaces are fitted around a central courtyard including a shared kitchen, dining space, laundry room and workspaces. From podium level all four residential blocks can be accessed.

The scheme also integrates sport facilities including a top-lit sports centre at basement level that can be accessed via a ramp-stair from the ground level - shared by the students and the municipality. Additionally, a 25 m glass bottom pool will span between the top of two residential buildings creating an exciting focal point and shared amenity.

Richard Warwick at Orms commented: “Orms has built its reputation in the UK by creating innovative and desirable spaces to both live and work in, focusing much of our work in the education sector. This is an extremely exciting scheme – our first project in Spain and indeed our first student-led residential building.”

The project is due for completion in 2019.

The WAN Awards Residential category is now open until 30th June.

Click here for more details or email wanawards@haymarket.com

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