Construmat 2009: Casa Barcelona Housing Project Fits Everyone

Casa Barcelona at Construmat PHOTO

Last week, Construmat, the leading construction fair held in Barcelona, Spain, every two years, attracted some 153,000 visitors. Amongst the most interesting works exhibited was the Casa Barcelona,an innovative, social and sustainable housing proposal.Managed by Pich-Aguilera architects, the project is an example of collective housing that fits the requirements of modern society, from technical to social and eco-friendly criteria. It brings together the work of four other architects, each responsible for one type of housing: a family with two kids by Estudio Carme Pinós, a flat-share designed by Andrés Jaque Architects, Javier Claramunts' team designed a flat for a younger couple and Sauerbruch & Hutton an apartment for an elderly person.

The overall building, designed by architect Ignacio Paricio, is a two-story infrastructure that houses the four homes. This 300 m2 prefabricated installation has been used at the Expo Zaragoza last year, and will be entirely reused to build homes after Construmat. The aim of the project is to show that both a new and an existing building can be adapted to different cultures, environments, social needs and budgets. All four examples are efficient in the use of its resources and build based on criteria of both recycling and recyclibility. The infrastructure reduces the use of water, energy and waste emission, and in a way offers a functional shell to house the four different homes:

The House of Things (La Casa de las Cosas) by Sauerbruch & Hutton

Designed for a 70-year-old who lives on its own, this flat divides in nine spaces that can each become a separate room. This way the home can be adapted depending on the needs such as having family over to stay a few days, the nurse or doctor coming around as well as limited mobility, or even the use of a wheelchair. From a sustainable point of view the interior is designed to last, using materials such as untreated cement, wood, ceramics, glass, etc.

The Rolling House by Andrés Jaque

This is a prototype housing solution for students or young professionals who share a flat, with the aim to provide privacy as well as a shared "knick-knack beach" that puts together elements and includes a bathtub on a high structure so that the water can afterwards be used for watering the plants (image below).

The Rolling House by Andrés Jaque as part of Casa Barcelona at Construmat PHOTO

A house for a family of four by Carme Pinós

This dwelling is designed for a family with two kids, offering again flexibility in dividing the spaces with mobile walls depending on the situation. The architect suggests to divide the entire space in three steps: First the bathrooms, the kitchen the wardrobes and hallway. Second, the rest of the home is used as one single open space and lastly, the exterior façade is used for storage, worktable, sofas and windows, with solar panels attached to them.

Manufacture Apartments by Xavier Claramunt

Architect Claramunt has designed this flat for a young single couple, based on the criteria of using as less resources as possible to live a sustainable lifestyle. The home houses very few elements but sophistication as well as efficiency are therefore even more important to provide an intelligent and comfortable way of living. The ceiling, the double façade and the textile dividers can all be adjusted as pleased.

All in all Casa Barcelona provides some inspiring social and eco-housing solution. ::Construmat

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