Author : Maria Rius Ruiz

University : Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona

Status : BArch, 2013

Advisors : Jaime Coll, Cristina Jover, Manel Bailo, Jordi Pagès

Title : Organic Infrastructure for Life, Regeneration of a Quarry

Can Baró is a neighbourhood located at the foot of ‘el Turó de la Rovira’, one of the 3 hills of the park ‘Els tres Turons’, in Barcelona. It has been known for its lack of connection between city and nature. Existing constructions have been stacked up in the mountain, instead of interacting and coexisting with it.

The proposed infrastructure is integrated in an urban void, the old quarry of ‘la Baronense’, turning it into an opportunity: a new square and a new junction between park and the city. The spatial aggregation of the living units builds the whole community; the whole dwelling project is composed of individual yet interconnected 37m² units.

The basic module is a cuboctahedron of 4.25m of edge. The combination of this platonic solid and regular octahedron is capable of filling the space. Half of the cuboctahedron is the private space, and the other half contains the common one. The cub octahedron is also used as a combination of 2 common spaces or a unique common space with double the ceiling height. From all these possibilities results the whole mesh, which has an infinite amount of different indoor and outdoor spaces.

The community is an alive collective that is constantly growing, reflecting the way the organic infrastructure is. It has the flexibility to expand, depending on the community needs. Each module is energetically and structurally self-sufficient, although the environment invites and encourages neighbours to collaborate and work together. It also helps to create a strong community bond within these sustainable units which cultivate a large part of their food in their own green garden terraces.

The cohousing and facilities for the neighbourhood community, adapts to its environment respecting its topography, vegetation and its natural runoff cycles. The whole construction is light, from recyclable material such a wood and metal, quick and cheap, without excavations and retaining walls. It only touches the ground in some specific points, has no impact on the territory and more importantly these dwelling units don’t privatize the soil on which it stands.