The agora and the tower

STREET Balmes, 288-290, Barcelona

If there is something that characterises the area of the intervention it is a city with a lack of public space. The north area of Barcelona, [Sant Gervasi] is a residential area constructed for the new emergin high-medium class of society, whose preferences generate an urban form of villas, in the way of a garden-city. The city is reduced to a bunch of streets without a specific identity of place, and the public spaces respond merely to a non-profitable plots. The area offered for the construction [a mix of public uses; including a small hospital, a nursery, a eldery house and dwellings for social purpose] is shown as a residual surface, the result of accidental limits of the existing constructions and, at the same time, an enormous horizontal “datum”, capable of generating great opportunities. Existing constructions’ interior façades [mainly dwellings] are characterized by the presence of windows and wide blind walls with a strong mateial texture. Both edges define a space within the city condition, and as if it was meant to, they leave open south and north sides.


The project aims for two things; On one hand, the construction of an empty space within the plot facing south by compressing all the uses in two volumes [one horizontal in two floors and one 15 floors heigh tower]. On the other hand, to deny the assumed form of the city and the plot by placing an outstanding volumen [the tower] as an new and unexpected reference point of the cityscape.


The tower plans show an unique charateristic of the strategy, the cast of the cores to the perimeter as isolated volumes wich extend their height differently. This external presence allows the tower to rise as a compact slab, diminishing its impact on the adjoining constructions. At the same time, the three towers keep an independent access to each use and define the ground floor as an exterior and social-condensor hall, from wich every single part of the project is connected to. The north elevation group the water installations  [connected to a minor core through wich the tubes spread as veins] along with an internal stair, growing up as it interconnect the different uses internally and between each other.






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