The conception of an apartment building in Cerdà’s Eixample in Barcelona 150 years after the implementation of the famous “Plan Cerdà” induces a reflection how to conceive the project and specifically the facades in a way that responds to the necessities of the 21st century while maintaining a dialogue and respect for the years of history.
The traditional elements as the balcony, the blinds, the cornices and the colors are reinterpreted here in a way that not only integrates into the built environment, but does so in a way that incorporates both passive and active energy saving solutions.
The building program is made up of 27 apartments and two commercial spaces with attics that look out over Casp Street. The typical floor houses 5 one and two bedroom apartments. The top floor houses two apartments with two bedrooms and two one-bedroom apartments, while the ground floor is made up of three duplex apartments, each with a garden, distributed on the back side of the building looking out over the patio in the block's interior. Two floors underground provide garage space for 34 vehicles.
The street facade is composed as a dialogue between fixed panels formed by steel framed vertical ceramic planks, and sliding aluminum blinds providing the necessary privacy and lighting control. Simultaneously the solution meets with the strict regulations of the Eixample area.
A steel reticule that limits the broad windows of the apartments forms the block’s patio facade. Folding aluminum blinds that serve to create a dynamic and changing façade provides solar protection and privacy here. On the roof of the building solar panels are installed and connected to the heating system of the building in order to reduce energy use of the hot water production. This, in combination with the cross ventilation of the apartments created by large interior patios of the block and the passive solar protection of the exterior, allows the building's functioning with only a minimum contribution from the air conditioning system.
The principal building materials (blinds, ceramic elements, and aluminum window frames) are recyclable. The flat roof is made using a special EPDM sheet and finished with lightweight concrete tiles, material that allows recycling and reuse.
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