La Comunal

La Comunal occupies half of a block in the Sants district of Barcelona. It is currently the workspace of eight organisations, including Lacol, the Barcelona-based office in charge of the project.

In the intervention, the initial geometry has been recovered, rehabilitating the original constructions and adding a small new building to the dividing wall of the neighboring houses.

The volumetry prior to the work had blurred the original shape. What is now a courtyard, walkways and accesses was a fully built and enclosed ground floor. The first phase of the intervention was to recover the initial geometry.

The central courtyard, in addition to allowing ventilation and lighting of all the spaces that surround it, is an element of centrality to meet with others.

The buildings, except the restaurant and concert hall, received a minimum treatment. On the roofs, after removing the pieces of fiber cement with asbestos, the architects decided to place corrugated galvanized steel sheets, thus differentiating those materials added in the project from the existing ones.

Lacol divided the climate strategy into three axes. Starting with the air, greenhouses have been incorporated to capture Sun heat, and the air-conditioned square meters have been reduced.

As for the water, a 5,000 liter tank allows the use of the water from the roofs for irrigation and cleaning.

Finally, the material intervention of the existing buildings has focused on their consolidation and their energy and bioclimatic behavior.

Insulation has been improved with a mix of lime and cork mortar to ensure compatibility and behavior with the materials and techniques required in a heritage intervention.

 1,200 linear meters of joists have been reused as rakes to place the roof insulation. Floors and other elements in contact with the ground have been insulated with envelopes from rigid insulation from the sandwich panel industry.

The new work gives up an optimal floor plan to achieve a courtyard and circulations that follow the original alignment of the complex. The courtyard, with the multipurpose room that forms a unit, is understood as the stage of a theater where the walkways, which act as balconies, surround it.

Author Lacol
Year 2018-2019
Client La Comunal
Location Sants, Barcelona, Spain
Surface 1.400 sqm
Collaborators Vinclament (arquitectura tècnica), Arkenova (installations), Aurea (acoustic), Societat Orgànica (environmental consultancy), AE-T (activities), i Chroma (restoration)
Photography Álvaro Valdecantos

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a project powered by Itinerant Office

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