cristalleries planell civic centre

Cristalleries Planell Civic Centre

In a triangular urban plot in the Barcelona’s district of Les Corts, previously occupied by the Planell glass factory of 1913, Harquitectes firm from Sabadell, designed a public building with mixed functions: an adult education center, a language standardization consortium and a hotel.

In a triangular urban plot in the Barcelona’s district of Les Corts, previously occupied by the Planell glass factory of 1913, Harquitectes firm from Sabadell, designed a public building with mixed functions: an adult education center, a language standardization consortium and a hotel.

The project´s program is divided into four floors that relate with the southern façade, giving the possibility to create a covered, narrow and long indoor patio. Its location is between one of the new structural façade and a wall of the old factory, making possible a dialogue between these elements and, at the same time, improving both the conditions of natural lighting of the interior spaces and their thermal and acoustic comfort. 

The Harquitectes studio is always very attentive to the environmental and climatic issues in their buildings and this case is not different. During winter the patio works as a natural catcher to reduce the loss of heat accumulated by the inertia of the masonry. In the summer it works to dissipate the heat through the solar chimneys and to protect the internal spaces with vegetation. The interior natural ventilation takes place in the vertical direction, the air is extracted through the solar chimneys and caps which, at the same time, give a characteristic shape to the profile of the building that greatly affects the relationship between the building and the urban landscape.

If on the one hand the resulting form of the volume is strictly bounded to the morphology of the urban plot, on the other hand, its materiality responds to the desire to enhance the existing façades, integrating them as much as possible with the new, avoiding isolating them within the architectural composition. New and old parts are placed on the same plane, and not only in a figurative sense, but also through the use of similar construction techniques and materials.

In fact, materiality assumes a central role in the project: the brick solves structural needs and dialogues with the preexistence; the glass refers to the memory of Planell's glass factory, and is used to cover the patios, the large solar chimneys and is also introduced as glass blocks in some wall textures, allowing the passage of light.

We can conclude by stating that Harquitectes is growing more and more as a model for its sense of responsibility in intervening in heritage buildings, in consolidated urban areas and in the difficult task of building sustainable architectural works.

Federico Calabrese

Ana Carolina de Souza Bierrenbach

PH CREDIT: Adrià Goula

Read the complete article on Compasses issue 27.

 

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