Pere Calders housing complex

Urban justification. Alignments and buildable surface

The urban design of the two sites is treated as one unique housing complex consisting of a linear bloc aligned to street (R7) and 2 isolated urban villa type buildings (R7bis). The free space between the buildings is treated as a community garden which includes a pool and private gardens for the ground floor housing units.

Although all three buildings are GF + 4, the height of the linear building is greater since it has commercial spaces on the ground floor which require a minimum free height of 3.5 m. The relation of the building heights and distance between the volumes guarantees a good exposure to the sun of the housing units and the communal garden space.

The basement under the building of the R7 lot is developed on two floors and a single floor under the R7 lot site, due to the slope of the site the second basement floor is common to the two lots. They house the 112 parking spaces required by regulations, storage rooms and technical premises. Each housing community, staircase, has a direct access to the parking by means of elevators with controlled access.

The building aligned to a road (R7)

In addition to housing the commercial spaces, the ground floor of includes the 3 access vestibules to the housing units, and a room for the use of the whole community.

The dwellings are organized in 3 nuclei. Each nucleus gives access to 2 units per floor. Each floor has a total of 6 units and all of them have natural cross ventilation since they have at least 2 facades with different orientation. The day zone and the terraces are always oriented to the southwest, while the night zones are oriented to the community space, facing the northeast.

The isolated buildings (R7bis)

They house 4 large housing units per floor, 3 of 3 bedrooms and 1 of 4 bedrooms, except for the ground floor, which to create the access, the 4-bedroom apartment becomes a unit with 2 double bedrooms. The living rooms occupy the corners of the building. The housing units are accessed through a pleasantly skylight central patio that contains a special circular staircase which connects the open hallway that communicates all the floors.

Housing units

All the housing units have been designed according to the standards of high quality. The distribution of the interior spaces is divided into a day zone and a night zone, main bedroom with a dressing room and bathroom in suite, most of the bedrooms are double, generous kitchen which communicates directly with the living and dining room, the outdoor terraces are large enough to act as a summer dining room. All homes have natural cross ventilation since they have 2 facades with different orientation.

The facades

The housing complex constitutes a single community of neighbors that will share the communal space located on the ground floor, for this reason the project uses a common language that resolves the different orientations and urban conditions of the facades.

The facades are constructed with smooth brickwork and flush joints. The mortar is of the same color as the brick to create a homogeneous and textured surface. The build volumes will be light in color, the sun shades that protect the terraces will be made of low maintenance aluminum slats and transparent glass railings, to allow the widest possible views.

In the linear block, the street facades have an ordered composition with large shadows and elements which add dynamism: corner terraces, high vertical slit to illuminate the staircases. The side facades consist of a solid part with corner terraces that announce the transition towards the interior facade. The interior façade which faces the communal patio is much more massive and offers an ordered composition with small shadows generated by the openings.

The rest of the buildings are designed with the same criteria in mind: their volumes are formed by a tense brickwork skin on which the balconies of the living rooms with their sun shading panels that enclose the exterior spaces are arranged in a pinwheel arrangement which breaks the volume of the cube and adds dynamism to the whole.

Community spaces

The unbuild space between buildings is used as gardens and swimming pool area for the community. The ground floor housing units enjoy private terraces and gardens. Other elements integrated into the common outdoor space: access ramps to the basement parking, emergency exit of the parking and the existing electricity transformation station. A series of ramps and staircases connect the different landscaped terraces which respond to the slope of the site.

The pool is centrally located in the communal space and landscaped to enjoy the maximum possible privacy. The garden is landscaped according to Xeriscaping criteria which is based on using plants and trees which are suitable for the Mediterranean climate and are easy to maintain.