New façade for the Gutenberg building

Xavier Vancells + Franc Fernández + Carles Puig

The project for the new façade for the Gutenberg Building had its origins in the proposal selected in the competition organised by the building’s users in 2004, which had to tackle the breach of building regulations on account of technical and functional deficiencies while also updating the look of the building. The pre-existing building, dating from 1970, is marked by its highly central placement. The new façade had to serve as an intermediary in the dialogue between the urban space and the 60 companies with their headquarters inside it.


The project’s strategy consisted of superimposing a new facing attached to the existing structure and refurbishing the existing facing in such a way that the activities inside are not brought to a halt. The new façade thus became a ventilated curtain-wall system with a double skin. This operation bestowed new contours on the façade, adapting to the inset section of the existing façade while softening its formal appearance.

The different gradients of the three planes on the façade set up various interactions between the glass and the surroundings. The lower plane, which slopes slightly towards the immediate public space, reflects the activity underway in the street and intensifies its materiality. The intermediate plane is set on a strictly vertical plane, modifying the intensity of the light and generating a transition towards the upper plane. The latter leans towards the sky, dematerialising its presence.

The ventilated double curtain-wall system turns the façade into a mechanism for thermally regulating the building by considerably reducing the use of air conditioning, which is required only as back-up energy. The application of prints to the outer face of the glass allows for the optimal control and exploitation of sunlight while preventing any over-heating of the intermediate space.

The difference between the light in the interior and the sunshine outside makes it possible to visualise the space through a gentle semi-transparent filter.

 Terrassa, Barcelona
 Owners Community of Gutenberg 3-13
 2.005.935 €


Xavier Vancells, Franc Fernández, Carles Puig
Raül Salas, Xavier Tutó


Estructura: Base Dos

Instal.lacions: RC Enginyers

Aparellador: Josep Malgosa

Infografia: Juan Carlos Castro

Fotografia: Andrés Flajszer (excepte nº5 XVA)


Competition 1st prize