THE POSSIBILITIES OF THE VOID:
FROM SPECTATOR TO MAIN ACTOR.
Every city has its own identity as the main image that it is giving to the world, but if we go deep studying the different areas, we will be able to discover that the different districts and quarters have also its own personality, with specific characteristics that make them really different with regards to the topography, people and architectural aspects, between others.
We are interested in analysing the quarter of “Torre Baró” (2.205 inhabitants in 1,8 Km2), located to the North of Barcelona, created around half of the twentieth century in the Collserola mountain area by people arrived from other Spanish regions who came in different migratory waves to work mainly in the industrial and construction jobs. Most of the actual houses in Torre Baró have been constructed by their owners as a self-build basis, without following any kind of patterns, rules or planning, and giving a general aspect of chaotic distribution.
Torre Baró has a particular pattern of urban voids, which are negative spaces on the city that allow a relationship with their environment and landscape. As a whole, urban voids generate a large network of possibilities that can drive a deep reform in the area.
After a deep study of the potential of the territory examining how we perceive the area, paying special attention to the voids as past forgotten structures, the intervention proposed includes the design of the architectural urban transformation in stages.
As the quarter needs a transformation indeed, this paperwork aims to present an architectural research and design to improve the lives of the inhabitants, establishing spaces of relationship, opening the way for relations within the neighbourhood by removing barriers and redesigning common structures for housing that can be used both, for new houses as well as to improve the current ones.
INFORMAL LIVING WITH FORMAL.
It can be said that architecture is responsible for modifying and adapting the environment in order to meet human needs. Architects are not only responsible for developing spaces and buildings according to their shape and use, but also to follow some aesthetic precepts.
Buildings in Torre Baró have a huge variation of boundaries to delimitate their private space. Housing entrances are placed mostly in the inner stairs, with no relation with the public street. Right now, the buildings constructed by their owners without any kind of rules, are giving a sensation of chaos, because of the distribution around the land and deficiencies without common spaces for meeting purposes.
My design studio project is based on understanding the voids that are unnoticed for the inhabitants and take them as a tool to reconnect and reactivate the interesting places of the neighbourhood to create social interaction. Furthermore, I plan a three step architectural actuation in order to improve the lives of the inhabitants, establishing spaces of relationship, opening the way for relations within the neighbourhood.