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social housing ‘in&out’


The project wants to reflect the hybridist and the complexity of the context. Poblenou is a former industrial neighborhood in Barcelona, now under transformation.

The layout by Cerdà here, unlike in the central Eixample -where the blocks are closed, compact and uniform- is characterized by a variable built fabric and a rich articulation of open spaces, intermediate in scale and position, between the street and the interior of the block.

To highlight the complexity and permeability of boundaries in the context, the intervention is an ensemble of articulated pieces, not a single building, consisting of five volumes of different heights that are related to each other through corridors and collective spaces of different sizes and qualities.
The larger and most continuous one follows the original diagonal layout of the street, and bends to meet the direction of the Cerdà layout. This also widens the street and creates an exterior hall to the ground floor.

This volume has almost constant height and contrasts with the uneven height of the rest of the interior volumes, which are homologous in shape to the neighboring buildings.

The vertical communication cores, located in the articulation between volumes, act as hinges between buildings and become the main access- es to both of the interior block courtyards.

The courtyards are meant to be two different landscapes. One is a domestic agricultural garden for the elderly residents that contains large metallic planters along with elements of a more domestic scale, such as ceramic tile surfaces where pots and cultivation trays can be freely grouped, as they are in the residents’ attached terraces and patios. The other courtyard is an urban patio for the community, accessible from the street and the adjacent public spaces. This patio is bordered by the community center for the elderly on the ground floor and overlooked by the dwellings for the young people.

The typology chosen for the dwellings is a single-loaded dwelling, accessed through a corridor. These corridors, outdoor walkways for the young residents and indoor galleries for the elderly, are hybrid spaces that transition between the interior and the exterior, between the private and the collective. The folds multiply the faces of the building and enhance crossed views of these interior spaces, while fissures in the perimeter allow visual connection with the street, with the exterior.

The collective space of the corridors, in between the private residences and the public, extend the minimum dwelling, improving the quality of life of the residents. These spaces between the domestic and the urban, thresholds between the room and the street, allow the resident to appropriate this collective space with their own individual markings. Sliding panels are meant to be a certain filter of privacy but can also be opened to allow for sharing and social exchange.

The complex closes itself from the street with an exterior that is a white carcass, thick and less perforated and opens up to an interior with an explosion of color and a multitude of skins and veils. The rhythm and composition of the windows of the exterior façade change, depending upon the dwelling, the building, and the orientation. The interior is composed of a pixilated plane, from the lime green at the street to the lilacs and blues that merge with the sky. The colors are partially veiled by fixed and sliding metallic lattices that create a tense canvas of the interior’s last plane.

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