We began working from the inside out, carefully considering the spatial qualities and adjacencies of the apartment’s interior rooms and their relationship to the city, the street and the open access walkways. The places of transition between the city and the dwellings are thick boundaries composed of small scale buffer zones or “almost-rooms”, providing the apartments with a rich variety of spaces of different scale, use and temperature.
On the street facade and reviving a Barcelona tradition, we placed galerías or small interior spaces between glazed enclosures that provide passive solar heat gain in the winter. In summer, they become balconies by opening the exterior glass louvers and closing the interior folding glass doors that are protected from the high sun by the galería’s depth.
From the street one enters an open lobby with bicycle parking. An elevator and open staircase lead up to the access walkways. Light enclosures for laundry areas connected to the bathrooms invade the walkways, defining wider sheltered spaces at the apartments’ entrance. These become public ‘front porches’, extensions of the small apartments, encouraging interaction and socialization among neighbours.