Baró de Viver CIVIC CENTER

Baró de Viver Civic Centre

Developer: Barcelona d’Infraestructures Municipals BIM/SA
Architects: Territori 24
Photograps: Adrià Goula ©
Project year: 2012-2013
Construction year: 2013-2014
Surface area: 1,652m2
Budget: €1.798.081,68 (VAT not inc.)

The project was for a building that was sustainable both energetically and socially, without increasing construction costs.
In a neighbourhood which is cut off rom the rest of the city, the new facility has to breathe life into the social fabric of the area.
In response to the different use times for the space (as a Civic Centre, community centre for the elderly and auditorium) the building can be divided from a single, central access point. The outdoor spaces are an extension of the floor plan to the exterior with abundant vegetation and gauranteeing a high quality, safe space.

Project Strategy
The building is designed as a low-tech construction, based on a prefabricated system, which achieves high environmental efficiency thanks to strategies that reduce the energy demand and the use of prefabricated and economic structural and construction systems. The surplus economic resources have been reinvested to improve the energy efficiency of the building and gain quality outdoor spaces. Applying these criteria, we have constructed a highly sustainable building within the budget. (LEED Platinum at €915/m2)

Quality of the Spaces
Courtyards were cut from a square and compact 40x40m floor plan with the addition of skylights to bring natural light into all the rooms. A green roof was incorporated as well as a double-skin green façade.
This allows for an intermediary space that filters the visuals from the interior. The second façade, at the same time, serves as an anti-vandal and security system.
The interior spaces have been designed individuallly, studying the acoustic and sensorial requirements of each room. The spaces for the elderly, designed primarily for daytime use, face south and are in direct contact with the courtyard; the acoustics are modulated through the use of acoustic panels hung from the exposed concrete ceiling. The rooms are located to the west arranged along the secondary corridor. The auditorium is basically a dark box which gives precedence to technical requirements. Finally, the large central axis is structured as an exhibition and meeting space for the users.

Formal Design
The most iconic image is achieved through the use of vegetation on the façade. A combination of different species of climbing plants (perrenial and deciduous, with different flowering times and intensity) and planted based on their orientation, cover the metal structure that envelopes the building.
For the building itself, we propose a low-cost exterior skin composed of prefabricated concrete pieces on the upper section and a combination of transparent wall coverings and dry-construction walls, with a technological wood finish on the lower section. This system allows us to freely distribute the openings based on the interior needs.

Our professional experience has been marked by two major crises: economic and environmental, but it is guided by the firm belief that beyond abstraction and form, architecture is of use when it has a positive effect on the users’ reality. This is why we decided to restructure how we do architecture using what we were taught and change our project strategy:
We constructed an eco-efficient building as a pleasant and comfortable public facility.
Leed Platinum at €950/m2*
(*town planning costs included)

The project reacts in a positive and friendly way to an urbanistically hostile environment, a neighbourhood surrounded by large-scale infrastructure, which forms a visual blockade to accessing the city and nature. Faced with the initial demand of a city wall-building with an interior garden, we responded turning the project inside out like a sock:
A garden that encloses a building.

That is why we focused our creativity on reducing economies, to allow us to do something that should not be an exception: save on energy and invest in comfort. The project pushes forward research into unnoticed sustainability without sacrificing lifestyle.

Working to a fixed budget, we proposed a compact construction that optimizes load reduction, constructed with low-tech pre-industrialized systems to save on resources.
Advanced energy modelling enabled us to give optimal dimensions to the different systems to be able to invest in passive measures (within the budget) that allow the energy demand to decrease dramatically while gaining quality outdoor spaces.
The saving generated allows us to reinvest in active measures to optimize the flow of water, the use of eco-efficient energy and domotic control and monitoring systems.

Applying these criteria we were able to construct a highly sustainable building without exceeding the budget. That aim, however, can only be achieved through a partnership that includes the different agents involved (developer, architect, construction company) and an adhoc flexible strategy.
Each project requires a multidisciplinary team to be able to meet the complexity of the demands and challenges that arise.



























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