110 Rooms – Housing block in Barcelona

practical info

CategoryCollective Places

Studio: MAIO

Authors: Anna Puigjaner, Maria Charneco, Alfredo Lérida, Guillermo López

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Video: MAIO

Program: Housing, collective,
State: New construction

visual material

general aspects

MAIO’s housing block located in Barcelona, has been designed addressing the importance of the rooms as the essential piece of the domestic sphere. Thus, the building can be understood as a system of equal rooms which can be used as desired, where each apartment could be hypothetically expanded or reduced adding or subtracting rooms in order to answer to the future needs of its inhabitants. With that flexibility in mind, rooms are similar eliminating any type of spatial hierarchy and program predetermination. This flexibility is possible due to the position of bathrooms, where all installations are placed as points for supply. The facade as well searches to consolidate the traditional style of the area, where prevail opaque stucco walls with vertical openings and balconies.

This project is born from the radicalization of everything that seems to us valuable from Eixample’s typological tradition. Thus, floor plants are formalized following the distribution of equal (or almost equal) rooms that traditionally characterized late XIX C. housing in the area, that have modified their use throughout the decades without substantial changes. A rigid system that allows changes of use over time. Something similar happens with the façade, where the traditional archetypal composition has simply been replicated in order to consolidate the pre-existence: vertical openings, balconies and wood shutters. Pure re-production. The façade finishing is done with traditional lime stucco, which, as often happened, represents through its pattern the memory of the plot, formerly a small textile and glove factory. The ground floor recovers the popular language of old Eixample’s halls, where, through furniture and large inhabitable objects, the space was arranged to house different uses. Here, the traditional furnitures are transformed into marble volumes in the middle of a large open space (where it literally rains allowing to understand the hall as an extension of the street).

The housing block 110 rooms, aims to rethink housing typologies by means of creating a system where the whole is made of small units that allow appropriation and evolution through time by means of a simple set of rules, engaging its inhabitants into the process. Thus, the distance between the unit (private) and the building (collective) can be constantly reshaped by means of simple architectural gestures. Typologies stress an a-hierarchical layout that allows to be inclusive and adaptive, allowing potential individual or collectives uses beyond precast archetypes.