Student Housing

Poblenou in Barcelona is known to be where the tech companies are setting up their offices, many years ago the city council together with a great group of professionals envisioned this industrial area as the perfect place to implement the “new industrial/digital revolution”.


Ironically the “digital” revolution that is taking place in Barcelona comes hand in hand with a much more analogical request, a place to stay.


Nowadays people never stop investing in their education and as such new studies both within companies and through universities keep on being offered, this require for much more flexible housing approach since courses take place in different locations of the world, and both virtually and presential.


The program of the project was to build a residence for high profile working students which would also provide a sense of community to enhance the experience of the expats while living in Barcelona.


Providing the “4rth industrial revolution” with the accommodation ad hoc while preserving the character and charm of the surrounding industrial area specially in our plot since we’re located very close to the old Ateneu (home to many social gatherings and starting point of several demonstrations for social rights) was crucial for the settlement of the building within its surroundings.


Our approach was to generate a building which both through the materiality and the repetition evoked the factories which not so long ago occupied that land and through a change of the disposition of the most commonly used construction material of the beginning of the 20th century (brick) being able to bring back the old manual artisans design into the configuration of factory façade details.


Special attention required the corner where the short façade meets the elevation of Passatge Bori a 50m long elevation which you barely have the perspective to see fully. Corners, as is well known, are key un Barcelona’s urban and architectural history and as such this one had to meet a few self-imposed requirements;


  • Both façades had to feel like a continuum one from the other.
  • The materiality had to be more elaborated to bring back strategies of the past
  • Had to become the icon of the building.


The outer façade responds to a very extroverted, welcoming and brutal façade, where the empty areas are a continuous connection between the users and the city. On the other hand the inner façade is a much more subtle solution, keeping the industrial material analogy but choosing a much more gentle approach with its balconies to protected the building from the striking heat of the sunset sun rays and generating a double skin that brings that façade alive with the personalization of every space by its user.


The building hosts the response of a globalized lack of residential space for a generation that is permanently moving with a strong sense of belonging to the environment where is located, the use, services and layouts are global, the building, relationship with the environment and craftsmanship is local.


Welcome to the 4th glocal building revolution.