This project is part of the master plan for the northern side of the extension of Avinguda Diagonal towards the sea. It forms part of an unbroken building front, in alignment with the avenue, punctuated by a series of taller structures, approximately equidistant, situated in strategic positions. The Agbar Tower by Jean Nouvel, the Hotel ME by Dominique Perrault and the Hotel Princess Oscar Tusquets are other landmarks on this side of Avinguda Diagonal.
The tower, therefore, is not an independent object. On the contrary, it is part of the growth in height of the line of buildings, at a junction where three tall buildings coincide, overlooking an ample street section. The tower does not negate the background urban layout, made up of streets and squares defined by medium-height façades.
Although it is an independent structure, we drew up the project for the tower in conjunction with the plans for the buildings located between the streets of Fluvià and Bac de Roda, with which the tower shares expressive resources and materials. The project employs a sole type of facade, which makes it possible to link the eight-storey buildings to the corner where there is a change of scale and height resulting in the tower with its twenty-two floors.
The tower constitutes a prism, with a rectangular floor plan, aligned with the Avinguda Diagonal on its narrower side. It connects to the other buildings through a bridging structure three stories high, intended for small offices. Pedestrians can pass under this structure to access the public space inside the block, and it also covers the vehicle entrance to the car park.
The floor plan is organized around two stairwells centred at either end, connected to each other, providing access to a number of homes that varies from four to eight per floor depending on the height. The main rooms are on the street side, while the services are concentrated on the inside, next to the lifts and vertical installations. Most of the living rooms are located on the corners, and the bedrooms are aligned with the long façades, facing east or west. The double orientation of the living rooms ensures sunlight all day long.
The care taken in the definition of the volume, and the approach used to design the façades, reveals a firm commitment to an architectural style of a decidedly contextual and urban nature. The façades are tense surfaces constructed of composite panelling and dark-lacquered aluminium profiles, the sole material used for frames, sun blinds and sections, in order to visually unify solid and empty space. The basic geometry ordering the façade is that generated by the partition of each floor in three equal horizontal bands, and a vertical division in bands of constant width, consistent with the course of the vertical elements of the structure.
A white mesh, with the same pattern, is superimposed on this dark surface. It is made of lightweight, glass reinforced concrete (GRC) and forms a slightly protruding grid, emphasizing the structure and the edges of the building.
Some elements of this mesh are strategically concealed, so that they produce effects related to order and scale which take into account views of the building from the middle and far distances. The distortions in the white mesh, in the surface and on the edges, produce an optical illusion that blurs the precise dimensions and boundaries of the volume without affecting its formal precision and the connection with the adjacent eight-floor building.
The three-storey bridge connecting the tower and the adjacent line of buildings, together with the ambiguities of the incomplete mesh covering the main structure, add interest and individuality, generating a result that is expressive and lively without ceasing to be part of a coherent building front.