EMAV Can Batlló

Thursday, 9 January 2020

hicarquitectura.com / Josep M. Julià i Capdevila

Since its birth, in 1878, on the grounds of Can Mangala annexed to the old “Carretera del Llobregat”, the Can Batlló enclosure and the Barrio de la Bordeta have evolved in parallel to the growth and transformation of the city of Barcelona. After a long evolution, which includes from the construction of the successive blocks with the rise of industrial activity, to the recent self-management of part of the enclosure, the will to open Can Batlló in Gran Vía and the surrounding neighborhood has been an urgent and priority reality.

The project develops the program of the municipal school of Audiovisual Media in ship number 7, becoming the cornerstone of the process of definitive opening of the entire Can Batlló site in the city. The access to the building is located at the back of the building, valuing the manufacturing complex and enhancing the activity of the old industrial streets.

The proposal is based on the manifest will to address any intervention in the architectural heritage from respect for the original typological features and, at the same time, from its reversible condition. Thus, it is decided to locate, on the one hand, the program of smaller dimension and greater repetition on the ground floor, since the existing, dense and modular pillar structure allows a better adaptation. On the other hand, the largest spaces are located on the first floor, since the truss structures allow more open spaces for the required activity. The proposal offers at all times, a clear and differentiated reading between the pre-existing industrial architecture and the implementation of the new uses.

To accommodate the entire program and take advantage of the great height available on the ground floor, a central body is built with two levels that, as a "large piece of furniture," can accommodate the classroom and the administration area of ​​the school. The strategic situation of this furniture, allows to order its surrounding spaces, such as reception, media library and student lockers. Its permeability, at its center and ends, as well as between floors, offers multiple meeting spaces and alternative routes for the center's users. The introspection of the level of the classroom, contrasts with the administration area, on the mezzanine, completely open to the outside with views towards the Gran Vía and the Can Batlló park.

On the first floor of the building, another linear furniture located along the first bay frees up a generous distribution space that, by its measures, allows it to be used for various activities of the center: foyer of the auditorium, workspace of the students or space for exhibitions. This hosts radio studios, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms and photography studios. When crossing this piece of furniture, you can access the second bay of the nave where the spaces that require large structural lights are located, as well as an absolute light and acoustic seal, the spaces for events and audiovisual recording.

The project preserves and emphasizes the typological features of the existing industrial architecture: order, repetition and structural simplicity. For this reason, we work with a serial structural system of wooden ribs, which offers maximum frontal transparency of the new interior bodies and at the same time guarantees total privacy of your activities from a distant view.

The lateral body attached to the warehouses, the main hall, the vertical communication centers, the bathrooms, as well as all the spaces for facilities are preserved and housed. Given the size of the building, two additional scales are located at its ends, which ordinarily function as communication stairs between floors, as well as to access the roof for the maintenance of the facilities.

The will to communicate the life of the building also determines the exterior treatment of the facades, which allow reading at different times the different stages of construction and renovation of the building. The damaged and broken elements of the same are recovered, and the openings of the first floor are blinded, expressing on the exterior of the building the implantation of the new uses. The high visibility of the deck of the ship from the Gran Vía, triggers an action that emphasizes its status as a "fifth facade". For this reason, and analogously to other public facilities of the city contemporary to the construction of the factory such as markets, hospitals or schools, an ornate light roof is proposed that integrates a collection of skylights that improve the natural lighting conditions of the space First floor vestibular.

The opening to the Gran Vía is completed with a landscaped slope, with a deciduous woodland that contributes to the natural regulation of the direct solar incidence inside the building according to the season of the year.