RESTORATION AND UPGRADE OF THE ARCHITECTS' ASSOCIATION OF CATALONIA HEADQUARTERS BUILDING FACADE IN BARCELONA

2014 | 2015 - 2018

Team: Fuses-Viader + Jordi Mansilla + Jorge Perea

First Prize winners at the competition for the renewal of the facade of the Architect's Association of Catalonia Headquarters in Barcelona.

 

The proposal is a reinterpretation of the original project by Xavier Busquets from 1962, which is part of the legacy of modern Catalan architecture. It consists on preserving and reinforcing what was more substantial in the original proposal: the tension that was established between the monumental platform of the lower trapezoidal body with the Picasso's sgraffito and the higher body of the office floors, that is displaced to the back. Reinforcing the neutrality of the background, we value more Picasso's base. In short, the spirit of the original project is recovered, but introducing some modifications such as the change in the type of the windows opening system, from the original sliding and folding windows to the tilt-and-turn ones and the elimination of the building's crowning finishing with gresite cladding, extending now the glass of the facade to the top, as it appeared already in the model that Busquets presented in the 1958 competition.

 

The bet is for a critical fidelity of the original project instead of an alternative proposal such as a double skin or the change of the cutting of the curtain wall of the facade in favor of a better transparency. Efforts have been made to improve the performance of the new facade both in the quality of the materials and construction details, as well as in the energetic efficiency of the whole complex. In that direction, a photovoltaic glass with CIGS technology has been incorporated to the sandwich panel of the ledges, with a silkscreen of white dots in a way that reduces the impact of black to gray and integrates it better with the whole facade.