Social housing tower in Plaza Europa / Roldan + Berengué, arqts

Social housing tower in plaza europa / roldan + berengué, arqts

The tower E.I.O.5 is a project of social housing promoted by INCASOL and it is located in a new central zone known as Plaça Europa (Europa Square).

The Europa Square, according to Albert Viaplana’s Project, it is shaped as the last nude in Llobregat’s direction of the squares sequence that, approximately each kilometer, marking the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes.

Social housing tower in plaza europa / roldan + berengué, arqts

The urban model of the Europa Square is a generous public space opened to each side of Gran Via which concentrates, with other buildings, 26 towers of tertiary and residential uses, publics and privates, between 15 and 20 floors. Tower 5 is located in the farthest crown from the Gran Via which runs half- undergrounded.

For all the buildings of this last ring, most of them public housing promoted by different clients, distribution laws in the master planning fix a maximum floor dimension of 24×24 m, as well as height in which should be located the first floor structure (slab) and the crowing point of the towers.

Social housing tower in plaza europa / roldan + berengué, arqts

The piece we had built was an object of public client’s competition in February 2005. In our proposal, rescaling the tower according to its position as a piece in the limit with the consolidate fabric of Hospitalet trying to visualize with the building a movement between Europa Square and the blocks of 5 floors that form the surrounding.

Grouping together floors from 3 to 3, the image of the tower, perceived in some kind of cinematographic long plan, could approximate to a building of 5 floors of height. Consequently the scale of the windows, according to that law of grouping them, is also transforming in frames of 10 meters height and different thickness. In order to be more accurate, the facade and windows, this last ones with a sequential number and modulated in pieces with similar dimensions to a door (0.8 x 2,10 m), succeeding in different planes with a depth that range between 50 cm and 1,2 meter and emphasises the concept of big inverted tribunes. In each section of the tower the first floor of every serial of 3 is a balcony.

Social housing tower in plaza europa / roldan + berengué, arqts

As some of the images in a “short plane” we have done for the competition show us, this frames avoid vertigo impression because between the interior and the outside of the apartment there is always an intermediate element: balconies, jambs, or the lintels of this big holes.

The election of the elements for the facade’s assembly has been done paying attention to a comparative study of several constructive solutions which evaluated the origin of already recycled materials, its natural origin and the capacity for being recycled at the end of its useful life. Likewise, was also valuated the expense of fabrication energy and the recovered politics of the surplus energy generated during the production process.

Materially, the facade is constructed with a 8 mm thick HPL panels hanging of hidden structure of recycled aluminium perfiles. Black frames are made of 4mm thick aluminium composite panels which brings equal resistance with a lower weight per m2 to any other material with the same features.

Social housing tower in plaza europa / roldan + berengué, arqts

Synthetically, all materials used in the tower’s construction are 100% recyclable and specifically the ones used in the facade come from a 65% and 100% already recycled materials.

The tower is set in floor plan as two towers with T form circulation corridor and two scales in the extremes across the one illuminates the interior in the circulation zone. Every tower has two apartments of 69 m2 in the extremes and one of 56 m2 in the central position. Totally, the program is of 75 units.

In this Project, the apartment unit’s distribution begins in the 14th floor and keeps descending so the compacted residential volume from the superior floor releases a space of 3 levels height with a T form in the access. This piece, generous in volume and “sober” in measures and finishing materials, in its longest dimension it ends being a street with accesses in the extremes and has unusual dimensions for the building’s entrance hall of usual public housing buildings.

We think that big frames of the facades as well as the space of the entrance hall, work like intermediate spaces of relation, shaping the community scale, between the individual and private scale of the houses and the public city scale.

Social housing tower in plaza europa / roldan + berengué, arqts

1 – Facade disposition in two planes through “inverted tribunes”: apartments with THREE SOLAR ORIENTATIONS and crossed ventilation
2 – NATURAL OR RECYCLED (85%) and RECYCLABLE (100%) materials and production cycles that incorporate cost-saving measures and energy use
3 – PREINDUSTRIALIZED facade systems, “dry” construction
4 – VENTILATED FACADE with total elimination of thermal bridges
5 – very austere materials assembled in UNCONVENTIONAL ways

Independent systems are used at different levels of the facade, without interference between them:
A-MODULE OF PREFABRICATED WINDOW: lacquered steel sub-frame , aluminum window frames with thermal bridges break + chambered glass + aluminum shutters, placed from floor to ceiling (inside plane)
B- VENTILATED FACADE of large format black aluminum composite panels, (sides)
C- VENTILATED FACADE of large format 8 mm HPL panels , with a hidden structure of recycled aluminum 4 mm thick, which provides equal strength with a weight per square meter than any other material with the same qualities (Exterior plan)
D-LATTICE formed by fixed brise-soleil of same material, placed in aluminum special extrusion profiles for the system to control graduate orientation and spacing of the slats (Externally)

Social housing tower in plaza europa / roldan + berengué, arqts

The criteria for selection of materials of the facade are:
1 – ASSEMBLY: facade materials have been used at their maximum size possible to optimize both time and material assembly efficiency, to control the effect of cuttings on the global scale of the building.
2 – SUSTAINABILITY: A comparative study has been made to evaluate recycled materials, their merits, natural origin and the ability to be recycled at the end of their useful life. Furthermore, it has also been evaluated the amount of energy waste and the recovery policy of surplus energy generated during the production process.
HPL (High pressure laminate) PANELS “FUNDERMAX NT Exterior”
Thickness 8 mm, format 4,1×1,85 m
Quantity: 2,410 m2, 27 TM
Properties: lightness, strength, variety of formats, minimal shrinkage, fast installation, minimal maintenance, heat and sound insulation, moisture protection
Composition: 65% natural fiber (40% of which is recycled), 35% synthetic material
Life cycle: 25% recycled source, 65% natural origin. 100% recyclable
CO2 emission: 6,000 kg/m3 (23,000 kg/m3 steel, aluminum 37,000 kg/m3)
Energy recovery: 95% of energy recovered in the production and for heating of buildings in the vicinity of the factory

Project Data:
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Type: Housing – Residential
Architects: Roldan + Berengué, arqts –
Collaborators Architecture: Vicenc Sanz and Zana Bosnic
Total Build Up Area: 10.312,98 m2
Total Build Up Area – Apartment Units: 7.660 m2
Apartment Units: 75 units | 49 units of 3 bedrooms S.U. 69m2 | 25 units of 2 bedrooms S.U. 56m2 | 1 residence of 7 bedrooms S.U. 196m2
Commercial: 1unit S.C. 280,11m2
Photos: Jordi Surroca

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.

Leave a Comment