COMUNITY CENTERS IN POBLENOU
PUBLIC FACILITIES FOR HE ELDERLY AND THE DISTRICT IN POBLENOU, BARCELONA.
Both community facilities are placed in the ground floor of two of the buildings in the social housing complex we designed at Camí Antic de València, completing the social accent of the whole public project sited in the Poblenou.
Criteria of transparency and visual permeability with the street and the interior block patios have been key in the design of both community fa- cilities. This intentionality can be found in the constant socle and furniture height from which glass planes begin. The transparency between the interior and the exterior becomes strategic, not only to widen the buildings but to allow visual contact between overlapping public, collective and domestic scenes, favoring integration of civic facilities in the city.
The District Center layout is conditioned by the width of the building, by the structure of the dwellings in the upper floors, as well as by the dif- ference of level of the ground floor.
The entrance lobby divides the center into two levels and two areas differentiated by the character and the temporality of their uses: a small auditorium or theater in one end, and the offices, workshops and classrooms at a higher level in the other.
The ramp that connects these levels is deployed along the perimeter to generate a central void that becomes a flexible space for hosting different activities. A longitudinal bench, a resting area, also acts as a safety limit for the ascent up the ramp. A furniture element outlines the perimeter of the district center, filling in the gap between the structure, the columns, and the plane of the exterior façade. This continuous lineal furniture element starts at the side of the ramp with bookshelves that replicate the palette of colors of the interior façades of the building. Continuing to the upper level, the furniture element widens and paces the rhythm with a sequence of alternating low cabinets and benches facing either the bathrooms or classrooms.
The Elderly Center consists largely of two areas: a more accessible one, opened to the street, a Cafeteria, and the less accessible one, the rest of the rooms destined to different activities. The “Polyvalent Room” is located at the wider bay of the building, at the most interior end of the Cen- ter. In the center of the facility, the “Activity Workshops”, more frequently used, together with the “Relational Area” become the meeting points and social catalyzers in the building. The last of these workshops is next to the interior courtyard, an extended outdoor space for the Elderly Center.
Another complex furniture element, on one of the sides of the main hallway, acts as a hinge between the “Activity Rooms” and the “Relational Room”. This furniture element hosts wardrobes with materials for the activities on the corridor side and shelves and folding tables on the reverse side next to the “Relational Room”. The folding tables give flexibility to this ‘living’ area, transforming it from a reading room to a game room or a knitting workshop. This furniture element is low enough to allow natural light from the courtyard through the pitched high ceiling and windows in the “Relational Room”, providing visual continuity through this area to the courtyard. The excellent natural illumination, controlled by shades and metal sliding panels, together with the oak wooden furniture colored in the interior with the façade’s color palette, give warmth to the space and comfort to the users.
In the urban courtyard, stripes of ceramic tiles in between the concrete pavement use the same domestic language as the surrounding terraces and patios. Different awnings, also with the façade’s color palette, create overlapping shaded areas over a web of metal cables.