Rather than work from a pre-defined plan, the project has simply defined a series of framework rules and regulations to ensure the gradual development of an urban, spatial entity similar to the way a Gothic urban fabric or Mediterranean village grew up. The final design will be produced by the interplay of these rules and parameters and indeterminate market forces acting during project implementation. Our project aims to achieve quality urban fabric by setting three baseline targets:
- Ensuring that the new office complex provides not only office space in a future key area of Barcelona but also public space and urban quality, thus becoming an integral part of the new urban development of Zona Franca. To this end, as much ground level space as possible will be left as open public areas. These will be covered to provide shade and shelter and at the same time ensure seamless integration between private buildings and public space.
- Ensuring that the future complex generates a new type of urban fabric that does not reproduce the existing models of tertiary urban development but gives rise to a new type of urban fabric combining the advantages of the traditional Barcelona city block and the Gothic urban fabric. In this sense the proposal aims at a more continuous set of differentiated buildings rather than a series of architectural icons. Quality equates with consistency rather than individuality; the whole should appear as a continuous structure rather than a heterogeneous series of independent buildings.
- Developing a new typology for tertiary space able to host an infinite variety of workspaces, from small, professional bureaux, conventional 2-bay cellular offices and “Kombi” facilities, to deep plan offices and trading floors for large organisations, while overcoming the limitations of conventional office typologies. Although formally consistent, this new building typology must be susceptible to design variations in order to meet different user requirements both initially and over time.
To do this, a number of fundamental parameters and regulations have been identified.
To ensure sufficient public areas, the master plan will regulate the private-building footprint with respect to the total area, indicating location, volume and percentage of cantilevered or bridged volumes covering the public spaces.
Again to ensure consistency between built mass and virtual volumes, the maximum height of buildings will be regulated along with the amount of façade alignment and cornice continuity.
To ensure flexibility, the development will follow a 7.50x7.50 metre grid layout that allows for optimum parking and office space design. The maximum floor plate permitted will be 7x7 metre grid modules which will provide sufficient floor depth for large workspace requirements and allow flexible parking layout.