Peris+Toral Arquitectes have designed a five-story building with 54 social dwellings in the Barcelona neighborhood of Bon Pastor to house the occupants of the Casas Baratas (“cheap houses”), built in 1929 on an estate in the district. The project was shortlisted for the FAD Award for Architecture 2022 and received a special mention in the HISPALYT Architecture Awards 2022.
To preserve the lifestyle in the neighborhood, where life traditionally spilled into the street, Barcelona-based practice Peris+Toral Arquitectes decided to create a building that was as permeable as possible. To achieve this, a series of intermediate areas are incorporated between the public space and the dwellings: at ground-floor level, the entrance is via communal courtyards that lead into the foyers; the lattice facing of the stairs externalizes the building’s vertical communication; and, on the first floor, spacious terraces of 12 m2 and almost three meters deep are designed as outdoor rooms overlooking the new park that borders the riverfront.
Inside the dwellings, the position of the bathroom at the center of the floor plan creates circulation around it to make the apartment seem bigger by creating infinite circuits. The use of exposed brickwork, a material specified by the planning for the site, is an opportunity to introduce lattices that give the building’s base a porous texture and naturally ventilate the car park and stairs. Finally, the metal balcony system offers a structure that can incorporate metal mesh as a support for plants to provide sun shading, as well as blinds and awnings.