Article source: LAB, Laboratory for Architecture in Barcelona
Louis Kahn divided spaces into two types: served and servant (where ‘servant’ refers not to domestic staff but to spaces serving other spaces). Marcel Breuer structured a considerable number of his single-family homes into a bi-nuclear scheme. The pre-existing H-shape of the Tomás home already favoured its spatial organization into two living areas, as in Breuer’s plan: one part to be used for daytime activities – the social area – and the other for night-time functions – the private area. The connecting room was to be a servant space but also given its own character so that, rather than being relegated for use as a mere passageway, it could also function as a living area. The other two rooms would be served spaces.
Not so many jobs begin like this one, with an owners’ list of wishes and hopes for their new home. A list much closer to the principles and values architects usually work with, often secretly, than the ordinary expectations of those couples facing this unknown challenge. Lists always full of good intentions but often incomplete. This was the start, loaded with responsibility, yet an excellent start.
The recently inaugurated Subacute Hospital in Mollet del Vallès is an example of how a hospital constructed in the 1950s and 60s, which had fallen into disuse, can be successfully recycled to meet the current and future challenges emerging in healthcare. The renovation project was based on simple and effective interventions that were practical as well as functional, resulting in a low-cost, energy-efficient hospital that re-assumes an active role in the day-to-day life of the city.
The neighbours protected themselves from the exterior with thick walls and balconies. We have to work with lightweight elements, so we designed the façade as a succession of layers: one interior, of glass and stainless steel, and another exterior, close to it, of wood that opens and closes at will. It protects us from noise and inquisitive eyes, acts as a filter between inside and outside, and gives the building an urban image.
To accommodate domestic life in the dense central city, architecture has to veil and control pure transparency.
There is something in every project that comes from visiting the site and listening to clients. And there is also an interesting part at the beginning of every project that comes from the everyday training.
While the first is a very attractive translation job, the second has to do with the positive part of experience.
The new headquarters of the Catalan Institute of Economists of Barcelona occupies a narrow site with380 m²(1,247 ft²) of surface area and32 meters(105 ft.) of street frontage at the far end of the Plaza Gal·laPlacídiaadjacent to Via Augusta. Once the urban reformation of the plaza is completed, the site will overlook a pedestrian space of 145 x45 meterswith trees, and will be bordered by the formerly mentioned street.
This three-storey row house was built on Passatge Marimon in the Sant Gervasi neighbourhood, with a direct view from the main thoroughfare of Avinguda Diagonal. The client wanted commercial premises on the basement floor, ground floor and mezzanine, and two floors of dwellings, with two apartments per landing.