A former 19th-century eclectic building turned into social housings in the historic centre of Barcelona.
Proposals for the Idea Competition ARCHMEDIUM - Barcelona Social Housing.
Similar to Amsterdam or Venise, Barcelona is probably one of the city that suffered most of mass tourism. Offering social housing to the city centre would address one the issue faced by Barcelona. By bringing back social life to El Born District, emptied of its citizens, the question of ungentrification process is also rising.
Barcelona Plazas might be the strongest expression of the Catalan urban life taking place in districts such as El Gotiko, El Ravel, El Gracia. This project aims to give priority to the public space and include a historical building into the actual urban issues.
The proposal here is to continue the historical process of how the Plaza Victor de Balager’s was created, demolishing old buildings, removing a third of our existing building to double the plaza area. A respectful heritage consideration is done by the conservation of the noble facade on the Via Laetana side while a new social heritage is introduced in the hold urban fabric by the creation of this new plaza inscribed in Barcelona’s morphology.
This ”bite“ is the only strong gesture of this project that tries to offer living conditions oriented toward public space, towards the city. Hence density will be the priority in the available typologies and by developing housings directly from the ground floor. However, he plaza and the street will be connected thanks to the building’s public facility located on the ground floor as well. Urban life is considered to be the best way to create new housing typologies.
An architectural language is created through the relationship between former of new materialities by adding or subtracting walls. This addition / substraction system is actually the tool allowing the creation of typological diversity. An architectural language is realised through the different relations between the former and new walls and facades. Instead of focusing on housing typologies this system creates a diversity of architectural components each allowing several relationships between one apartment and another, the public space and a flat, the facility and the plaza. This architectonic vocabulary gives to the project its own aesthetic character in the contrast between a new and an old facade.