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Barcelona's School of Art and Architecture

Part 1 Project 2010
Nassos Hadjipapas
De Montfort University UK
The site is located between the city’s main artery, Avinguda Diagonal and the Diagonal Mar Park, establishing a direct connection with the Metropolitan environment on the northern side and the landscape of the park to the south. The Avinguda Diagonal links the site to the city, both by public transport and through the pedestrian walkway, which runs in the middle of the avenue.
The proposal is for a School of Art and Architecture on the site. The Avenue connects the new series of buildings to the existing Forum Cultural Square and allows the new university building(s) to complete the “chain” of the Diagonal Mar Park, the shopping Mall and the Forum Cultural Square. The School of Art and Architecture creates greater density in the area and helps support the cultural development of the Poblenou.

The School is made up of a series of buildings. The central building is merged into the landscape with the roof and the ground becoming one single continuous plane and allowing the flow of movement from the Diagonal Mar Park to the School of Art and Architecture. Through a network of paths spectators can walk through sculpture exhibitions, gathering spaces and access the school at various levels.

The School is divided into two buildings: the studio building that contains studios, workshops, resource centre and computer labs. The second, the Central Services buildings holds a library, exhibition spaces, administration and academics’ offices as well as a leisure facility on the top floor.

Both buildings are characterised by their large foyers that double as exhibition spaces with steel lattice structures. The inverted pyramid lattice structure in the central services building deconstruct the notion of the roof that is protecting people from bad weather conditions by allowing rainwater in the building to be collected and reused to water the roof gardens. The studio’s building lattice structure holds holographic glass that projects images of students’ work.
The Barcelona school of architecture celebrates culture in the city of Barcelona through education and exhibition of art and architecture in the area of Poblenou.

Nassos Hadjipapas

Tutor’s Statement
The design of this project has evolved through a series of iterations and has been accompanied by the study of the structural and environmental strategies. The brief has been determined so as to create a set of buildings accommodating cultural, commercial, educational and social aspects of city life.

Nassos has taken a substantial triangular site and with typical energy and resolve has dealt with a challenging and ambitious project. At the core of his critical inquiry has been finding effective means of re-instating the city networks and organizations whose absence has interrupted the urban flow and grain. He has shown sensitivity to the cultural context and an understanding of the urban form and massing in the city. Nassos has analysed the city grain and re-configured it within the site through a hybrid grid highlighting the city’s main features. This process has helped to formally anchor the design into the city.

In his proposal for a University campus on the site, Nassos has responded to the characteristics of Barcelona’s rich architectural heritage, the edge condition at the Diagonal, the site topography, its proximity to the urban park to the south, the land use around the site and the need for populating the area for a higher density. The buildings remain permeable to the city while spaces or uses straddle the physical boundary, the functions are separated and then re-joined in an acknowledgement of the deconstruction of the forms, while maintaining organizational integrity.

I have observed continuous development in Nassos’s work as he has tried to ensure that the theoretical grounding for his approach and the original design concept remained integral to the design. The site provided serious challenges regarding form, massing, programme and organization and Nassos dealt with these through intelligent flexibility and experimentation. This project is the manifestation of a resolute process of intellectual and creative inquiry.
Dr. Jamileh Manoochehri

University Campus in Barcelona

Project by: Nassos Hadjipapas

Tutor: Dr. Jamileh Manoochehri

The Leicester School of Architecture


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