The project is the construction of a building between party walls of 12 houses in Barcelona.
It is located on a narrow plot between Còrsega and Sardenya streets, adjacent to the corner but without access to the block patio. This almost residual condi- tion in the Eixample fabric led us to propose a façade that was as transparent as possible, connecting the houses as much as possible with the Mediterranean climate of Barcelona but at the same time protecting them from the sun and from a street with a lot of mo- torized traffic.
Our most apparent references at first were the fa- cades with lattice systems and brise soleil of some local projects by architects such as Mitjans, Coderch or Bofill. Still, we were immediately fascinated by the simplicity of the rear facades of the Eixample, with their apparent non-existence design, practicality and beauty.
The project explores the potential of these nineteen- th-century facades of the Eixample block patios, with glazed galleries protected by simple rolling wooden shutters, which, when opened, form continuous bal- conies along the entire length of the façade.
We have adapted this Mediterranean shading system with a bespoke design of motorized standard pine shutters mounted on folding aluminum carpentry.
By using commercial wood blinds we ensure that they can be easily and cheaply repaired or replaced. The aluminum windows here also go from floor to ceiling to achieve that feeling of maximum openness in summer and winter garden, with polished concrete floors and exposed concrete slab ceilings. The cons- truction details have been raised from their mechani- cal and physical nature -not only formal- with com- binations of tensile and compression elements that balance each other.
The ground floor has two pass-through duplexes with a rear garden, protected from the street by sliding pine lattices. The upper body can be fully opened to achieve privacy and an overhead light effect that we believe adds significant value to homes that normally have poor living conditions.
This Mediterranean façade protection system using wooden shutters manages to provide coolness in Barcelona’s hot summers and a large amount of light and a greenhouse effect in its mild winters, in a friendly, simple and highly effective way.