Colegio de Economistas de Cataluña
Coinciding with the completion of the urban regeneration of the Plaza Gal.la Placídia this recently constructed building, accommodating the Catalan Institute of Economists, forms a new edge to the square. The building programme, some 3,000 sq.m. is distributed over 6 floors and 2 basement levels. By organising the functions within a double order the building façade is read as a sequence of superimposed boxes from the outside. The functions are grouped within educational/classroom and staff/administration zones. The programme in its entirety is organized into ‘rooms’; the classrooms, the hallways and waiting areas are considered as rooms as well as the main staircase. These rooms, or boxes, are defined using three different materials: glass, aluminium and wood. The classrooms are necessarily white and monochrome. Wood is used for the rooms provided with natural day light to encourage social inter-action, a principle also applied to the access corridors for the classrooms which are considered by the architects as the building’s main social spaces.
The foyer, waiting rooms and circulation areas spread over the various floor levels are organised along the length of the main façade, overlooking the plaza. Movement, people waiting and changing scenarios within the interior spaces form an ever changing façade to this urban fragment. These spaces also act as a thermal and acoustic buffer zone, protecting the teaching areas behind. According to the architects the façade is thus treated like a vertical plaza with shifted entrance halls on each of the floors. Like the emblematic ‘sun gallery’ spaces within the Eixample neighbourhood of Barcelona this large window facing south where people move, meet each other and socialise forms the heart of this building.
The designers were anxious to provide a sustainable and low energy consumption building; all four façades have access to day light, the southern facade is provided with a ventilated double skin, energy savings have also been made with the heating and air conditioning systems. The building was nominated for a FAD architectural award this year.
- Colegio de Economistas de Cataluña
- Nueva sede en Plaza Gal·la Placídia, Barcelona
- Roldán + Berengué Arquitectos