Housing Tower in the Plaza Europa. Hospitalet de Llobregat

Plaza Europa is the center of the new economic district of Hospitalet and is strategically located on the Gran Via, the main avenue that connects the airport with Barcelona, next to the Fira, the city’s exhibition fair. This square “sews” two scales of the city divided by the Gran Via: to the south-east the low rise and extensive sites of the great commercial, hotel, office and industrial facilities of the Free Trade Zone, to the northwest the dense and consolidated urban fabric of Hospitalet The buildings that are arranged in this square, of different uses, orientations and heights, form a singular nucleus that turns it into an urban landmark clearly identifiable from any orientation.

The tower we project is 20 stories high, with a square base, and its situation in the Europa square gives it an extraordinary southern façade that will characterize the perception of the building along the airport-Barcelona axis. Its northern facade faces the consolidated city. We propose to formalize the project starting from a clear monolith in its southern façade, with a sculptural texture, divided into horizontal strips that frame the panoramic views from inside the dwellings and add rhythm to the perception of the building from a distance. In contrast, the northern façade is formalized with two slender monoliths of dark stone, highlighting its volume and proportions when seen from the city.

With the composition of the different façades, we propose a solution which responds to its different orientations and dialoguing with the varied urban environments from which it will be perceived. When the interior of the building appears on the facades, (terraces, which are large vertical cuts in the façade that accompany the staircase or the joint between the light parapets of the south and the dark monoliths of the north), it is always materialized with wood, a soft and domestic material that will provide the building with the warmth and comfort feeling so desirable in a residential project.

The layout of the housing units in each floor maximizes the use of the façade to house the main pieces of the flats, reserving the center of the tower for vertical communications, lobbies and large spaces for the MEP installation.