Public housing-block with 14 homes on Palet i Barba street

Xavier Vancells + Franc Fernández + Carles Puig

1st prize competition

1st Prize 4a Biennal d’Arquitectura del Vallès

The building was distributed with the aim of attaining the maximum number of public housing units while fulfilling the minimum requirements of surface area in conditions of complete habitability.

The result was a total of 14 homes distributed over a ground floor and two upper stories and spread along a central distribution corridor that contains the communal staircase and elevator services.


The homes functional and compositional solutions were established in accordance with the application of the following criteria:

- Fleeing from the pre-established and exclusive use of the spaces, proposing an open distribution with a maximum flexibility that erases the programmatic conditions of each room, allowing it to be inhabited in different ways and propitiating a mixed use as residence and workplace.

- Exploitation of natural resources by the application of concepts of passive energy saving that guarantee a rational use of energy.

- Selection of a structural and constructional system that permits a rational application of the criteria herein.
The homes are organised into three strips that define three types of spaces with different characteristics:

- The first strip gathers together the hygienic services and the kitchen, as well as an entrance hall into the house that also serves as a distributor for the various rooms. This strip, with a ceiling lower than those elsewhere in the house, contains all the water systems and the piping for evacuation and ventilation.

- The central strip, highly neutral in character, contains the living room and one or two bedrooms, depending on the surface area of the home.

- The third strip is developed along two outdoor façades, which acts as a gallery-space serving as a filter between the interior spaces and the exterior, while also unifying the different areas in the central strip.
In terms of energy sustainability, this gallery space acts as a lung due to its open/closed configuration, allowing for thermal control in the house, not through expensive active energy resources but through passive resources that cost practically nothing.

The rooms on the ground floor are curved to obtain maximum permeability from the street, giving rise to a fluid space that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior.

 Terrassa, Barcelona
 SOMUHATESA - Societat Municipal d’Habitatge de Terrassa S.A.
 913.615 €


Xavier Vancells, Franc Fernández, Carles Puig
David Batllès, Joan Anguita, Xavier Tutó


Estructura: Base Dos

Instal.lacions: RC Enginyers

Aparellador: Xavier Toledo

Fotografia: Andrés Flajszer(excepte nº3 Eva Serrats)


1st prize competition

1st Prize 4a Biennal d’Arquitectura del Vallès Social Housing 2007

Finalist FAD Awards 2007

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