The building of 47 social housing units consisting of basement, ground floor and five upper floors is conceived as a shallow and continuous perimeter of courtyard flats that creates a central space in the form of a collective and bioclimatic atrium, which becomes a reception, relationship and meeting space for the inhabitants of the building and, at the same time, it also becomes a mechanism that provides high energy efficiency to the complex.
The Torre Baró neighbourhood, adjacent to the Parc de Collserola, originally required a terraced construction with a large number of outdoor spaces in contact with nature and the landscape, due to its rugged terrain with steep slopes.
The new building will become the final home for some of the families who have moved out of the neighbourhood, who live in precarious housing conditions but with an intense relationship with the mountain. These natural spaces are strategically incorporated, adapting them to the typology of a high-rise courtyard house.
The building deepens on the relationship between the dwelling, the immediate public space and the city, making use of intermediate spaces to make the transition between the street and the house by creating a large bioclimatic atrium. It is a welcoming place on the ground floor, an obligatory passage for users to communicate with the different stairwells, an intermediate space with high energy performance that is committed to becoming a new area of exchange and relationship between the inhabitants and future generations 365 days a year. At the same time, it is an area of knowledge that allows us to respond to the prevailing energy poverty that calls for the need to design homes without dependence on air conditioning systems, with almost zero consumption (NZEB) and with a high production of photovoltaic electricity on the roof.
The central space, thanks to the construction of a bioclimatic roof that can be opened and closed and protected from the sun, functions as a greenhouse in winter and as a hyper-ventilated umbraculum in summer. The result is a thermally favourable space, which adapts the form factor of the building to the environmental needs, improves the transmittance of the interior façade and collaborates in the energy exchange with the dwellings, reducing losses due to ventilation and health. These advantageous conditions of an intermediate space allow both the large central space and the generous staircase landings to become living, play or meeting spaces for neighbours.
At the typological level, all the dwellings incorporate a 13m² terrace-gallery type intermediate space extending from the dwelling itself that functions as an area of passive use: an open, exterior and ventilated space in summer, capable of collaborating in the cooling of the dwellings by taking advantage of cross ventilation. In winter, it is a closed space, a collector, capable of providing thermal gains, due to the greenhouse effect, directly in the living room, avoiding the need for heating in the homes. Each terrace becomes a private filter space between indoors and outdoors, an intermediate area between the individual and the collective. A single typology is proposed for the apartments-patio pass-throughs where all the pieces are located on the façade, so that they all have natural lighting and views of the landscape. The position of the gallery alternates; in some flats it is the access space and in others, the gallery is located at the end of the dwelling. The interior configuration of the dwellings has versatile rooms of 10m², all the same in order to favour multi-functionality. The layout is inclusive, where the kitchen is open to the living room and access to the laundry room and bathrooms is always from the common space of the flats.