The Bartlett School of Architecture


Torre Baró Apartment Building

Torre Baró Apartment Building


Torre Baró was originally planned as a garden city outside Barcelona, but the quarter today is the result of 50 years of informal, ad hoc development. The Council’s Pla de Mobilitat Urbana (PMU) strategy aims to update the quarter by making suburban areas denser while achieving urban consistency. Miàs Architects won the competition to build block A in the neighbourhood's first urban node around the square Plaça dels Eucaliptus.

The Torre Baró Apartment Building represents an innovative way of designing social housing to create a socially responsive and enriching environment for its urban context. It provides uniquely designed apartments and a matrix of shared routes and spaces for the community. The building integrates climatically comfortable passages in the form of common aisle-balconies within the block's internal atrium. This network of balconies creates not simply spaces for circulation but also spaces for shared neighbourhood activity. These spaces are marked by surfaces rendered in magenta, defining chromatically the core of the building and the community, an internal common and shared space, different from the external skin, which is rendered in white like other PMU blocks. 

In such a suburban context, where there is no continuity with an old urban system, various shared spaces were created to 'build' a social network that didn't exist before. In addition to the communitarian balconies that can be used as socialising areas and shared extensions for each apartment, the public ground floors of the apartment buildings belong both to the urban area and to each building community, and a central plaza embodies the identity of the whole community at Torre Baró PMU.

The building was a Finalist (Selected Project) in the City of Barcelona Architecture and Urbanism Awards (2012). 


Josep Miàs
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