Daniel Modòl urbanism+architecture transformed the former Balius hardware store, which served the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona for a century, into a coworking space designed following criteria of sustainability, energy saving and user comfort, earning it the LEED Gold certification. The intervention preserves the elements that defined the industrial character of the building, complementing them with noble and locally sourced materials. LOOM Ferretería, with a net floor area of 1,756 m2, provides quality workspaces in the 22@ district and connects with its surroundings through a wooden façade planted with greenery that gives it warmth and distinguishes it from other office buildings in Barcelona.
The transformation of the 22@ area in Barcelona’s Poblenou neighborhood offers an opportunity to promote a new city model with the renewal of the industrial fabric. Thanks to the innovation, creativity and design of this new architecture, the new buildings and spaces contribute to a more sustainable neighborhood.
The design focuses on the adaptive reuse of the former industrial building occupied by the historic Balius hardware store, founded in 1914, which sold practically everything related to construction. It is a five-story building, refurbished in the 1970s with a metal structure and a Catalan vault that gives it a unique character. In the redesign, these two details from the old building were preserved. The rest of the intervention was adapted to the scale and materiality of the residential surroundings.
The main façade was removed to enhance the value of the existing structure and to make it visible from the outside. The interior façade adopts a classic gallery typology with natural wood and glass window frames. A green façade that uses industrial metal planters adds vitality to the building’s composition and gives it an almost domestic character. Additionally, users can open windows on every floor, setting this co-working space apart from most office buildings in Barcelona, which are more uniform and disconnected from the outside.
All the materials used are noble and locally sourced since the design aimed to respect the surrounding residential environment as much as possible and ensure the building would blend into the neighborhood. The existing green color is recovered in much of the interior structure and is emphasized by using it throughout the building’s enclosures.
On the fourth floor, a recess in the façade generates an outdoor space; a series of meeting rooms form a hybrid space with the option of interacting with the exterior. On the rest of the floors both natural light and ventilation are provided by the openings in the main façade, the new courtyard situated in the former stairwell, and the rear façade.
The building was designed in keeping with sustainability criteria, where energy savings and user comfort were paramount in generating a sustainable workspace that is LEED certified. The building has a reuse rate of 62%; it saves 48% of water, and almost 10% of its energy consumption comes from photovoltaic panels. In addition, it is connected to the district heating and cooling network (DHC) and to the pneumatic waste collection network.