50 unit residential block in Barcelona
|Site||Plaça Sagrada Família. Barcelona|
|Built area||13.872 m2|
|Architects||Joan Pascual Argenté|
|Structure engineer||Paco de las Heras|
Very strict planning regulations rule the renovation of buildings in the Eixample in Barcelona. Most façades are listed and therefore need to rest untouched. Some extreme cases have seen existing façades demolished and reconstructed to the original. In the rare case where a new façade is to be designed, the planning regulations determine the size and proportion of the openings, whereas the design of the rest of the building is irrelevant to planners.
In this case, the problem was to design a façade for an existing layout, which represented a real challenge taking into consideration that the building is located in a very sensitive area, facing the Sagrada Familia.
It was decided to design a façade which would emphasise the horizontality of the building, revering to the verticality of the neighbouring towers of the Sagrada Familia.
This is achieved by designing a very long balcony along the whole of the façade, which is only interrupted by a subtle reminder of the width of a typical building of the Eixample. The handrails are designed to be opaque, thus emphasising its horizontality.