Barcelona Community Center
Barcelona has a rich history of urban design, this proposed community center intends to continue this tradition. The site is situated adjacent to the Arc de Triomf, a landmark and transportation node on the edge of the “El Born” district of the Ciutat Vella. El Arco provides a threshold between the Ciutat Vella and Eixample, two distinctly different urban fabrics representing the old city and modern city. Sited at the intersection of two major roads and a major public transportation node, the Center will need to accommodate the transit needs as well as facilitate movement through the surrounding areas. The primary challenge of the design was to respond to the needs of the person, block, and urban fabric of the neighboring districts. The community center is a transition and link that blends the context rather than competing with the existing landmarks and style. The context blocks of the Eixample have spaces that have broken the typical Cerda block and created pedestrian paths that open the interior courtyards to the public realm.
The massing of the community center is derived by deconstructing the typical Cerda block. Initial moves dissect the block by slicing openings and trimming corners based on paths and site lines through the site. For example the southwest corner of the site is trimmed and angled to allow views towards the Arc de Triomf, visually connecting it with an existing pedestrian road. The building massing also creates a dialogue with the pedestrian as they circulate the exterior of the building. Walls play a game with the traditional Cerda massing by creating a rhythm of touching the the edge of the traditional block and stepping back. Undulating roofs flow with the constant movement of the exterior walls.