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In-between the Grid: Housing in the Gaps of Barcelona Blocks

Part 1 Project 2022
Sindi Dojaka
Architectural Association | UK
Cerdà’s urban grid for Barcelona is ruled by repetition and standardization. Both ideas are linked to the 19th century concept of the city as a machine. While order helps shape our lives, once standardization becomes prevalent, emotion and reflection can be lost in midst of regularity.

Due to this extreme rationality of the metropolis, in ‘Metropolis and Mental Life’ G. Simmel discusses the idea of objectivization of the subjective existence of humans which leads to a suppression of one’s inner world and individual development.

In the case of Barcelona, where the grid is based on these ideas of city as a machine, it pushes forward this idea of rationality, leaving the subjective spirit behind.

Therefore, this housing project aims to change and break this machinic pace and objectivization of being by offering a way to experience the everyday with a more conscious sense of living, at the scale of the project and the city. The proposal aims to do this by challenging the rules of the grid and by altering the expected and the familiar. By creating the unfamiliar through the familiar. The project learns from the reality-distorting methods of Metaphysical and Surrealist Artists and tries to apply these spatially.

Sindi Dojaka

Nuria Alvarez Lombardero
Francisco Gonzales de Canales
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