Various architectures

Esplugues de Llobregat. Barcelona

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Espai Baronda, multifunctional building

Alonso, Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados. Luis Alonso y Sergi Balaguer, arquitectos

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Situated in the Parc dels Torrents, in the city of Esplugues de Llobregat, with its deep ceramic-making roots, this project recovers an old ceramics factory, transforming it into a service space endowed with considerable transversality.

Espai Baronda looks like a great container of activities and spaces, favouring the synergies of construction, architecture and engineering companies through multiple shared complementary services such as canteen, meeting rooms, auditorium, car park, control and security, etc.

The refurbishment of the building obeyed criteria of respect towards the original materials, as well as the volumetry of the building. Thus, ceramic brick features in the shell as a double perforated skin in the East and West faces, generating on one hand a formal and volumetric respect for the original configuration, and on the other a real thermal cushion behind which all types of machinery and installations are located, all of them accessible via metallic mesh walkways to thus liberate the visual of the complex and, especially, its fifth façade from any interference of exposed installations.

A great double-height, T-shaped hall receives the visitor and a glazed walkway hanging from the roof shapes the sought-after sensation of lightness of this connecting element. The hall fulfils the function of distributing the resulting spaces while making it possible to organise temporary exhibitions, among them the town’s ceramics biennial, fashion shows, civic presentations, etc.

The building is also endowed with a large-format space for seminars and conferences, transformable into three rooms of small- and medium-size capacity. Its purpose is to provide complementary fit-outs for the various businesses and activities.

The reconstruction of the original roof lights, as well as the filtered light from the double skin of the new façade, bring a great deal of luminosity to the internal spaces, boosted by the double height of the hall that crosses most of the building’s floor plan.

A new public place next to the complex reinforces its urban development structure, which is complemented with a pedestrian walkway and a lift to help bridge the great unevenness generated by the old existing creek bed, previously developed and transformed into the Parc dels Torrents. Underneath the plaza is a car park with natural light as well as elements of vegetation that issue from the subsoil and appear in their full splendour through the wells opened in the public space above.
An annexe containing a public swimming pool completes the range of activities of the complex, which has used the foundations of the old building for its construction to generate the changing room and service area, so that its landscape integration into the territory occurs without any upheaval. The broken line of the sheet of water also participates in the integrating aspect of the project.

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Situación: Calle de la Riba, 36 - 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat. Barcelona. Autor: Alonso, Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados. Luis Alonso y Sergi Balaguer, arquitectos. Estructuras: Area 5 / Boma. Instalaciones: PGI Grup. Aparejador: Xavier de Vera i Vilà. Constructora: Tauicesa. Promotor: Baronda Futur. Fotografía: Josep Mª Molinos.
Alonso Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados
Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona
Josep María Molinos