Big Family / A new taxonomy for the contemporary worker

The project is a proposal for a new housing typology that responds to the living patterns of the contemporary worker, what is commonly referred to as the "creative worker".  With the growth of the information and creative industries, the "creative worker" can no longer be confined to the old cliché of the marginal and idle artist or designer. Barcelona has been a paradigmatic city in the perpetuation of this myth. Especially in its efforts to attract this social subject to peripheral and underdeveloped parts of the city as part of a controversial gentrification process.
Our intervention aims at providing solutions for the reintroduction of this social subject in the center of the city, by means of a new housing typology that addresses the conditions of that worker in a less mythologized way; taking into consideration his precarious social and economic conditions but also his increasingly central role in the economy of the contemporary city.
We start from the fact that space in Eixample is available, or more precisely, that it is not exploited efficiently (see diagram x).  The abundance of space in Eixample results from the emerging reality that the dominant single family typology is no longer appropriate for the needs of the contemporary city. Hence a rearrangement of the spaces and spatial practices of the typical Eixample apartment building is a necessary starting point for the introduction of this new social suject.
Architecturally, we propose a new arrangement of the spaces and activities of the typical apartment building with the introduction of a series of vertical sections that divide the building into vertically connected spaces allowing for more sharing practices.  Our proposed vertical layers are articulated by means of five interstitial architectural interventions:  Loggias, Common Working Spaces , Patios, Living Quarters and  Interior Balconies. All five interventions are reinterpretations of existing typologies that respond to the need for more common spaces devoted to work and communication.

Redistributed along the street facade of the building in a way that reflects the distribution of the sharing spaces, the new common spaces. Since these loggias have lost their significance as a sign of the social status of the occupants of the "Principal" floor, they now function as conversation spaces framing the encounters and conversations of individuals in a transparent space that redefines the limit between public and private.

2-Common Space
Derived from what used to be the living and dining area.  It is separated from the street by the new Loggias and from the Super Patio and the rest of the building by a translucent wall of storage space. Stripping the existing rooms of wall partitions, furniture, and old finishes, unifies the spaces and allows for maximum flexibility of use.

3-Super Patios
Enlarged and enhanced versions of the existing patios, dividing the building into two clearly separate sections. The space of the patios is expanded to embrace the existing vertical circulation turning it into a central architectural feature instead of a residual space.

4-Living Quarters
Medium size studio of  1 or 2 bedrooms. It is a generous version of a studio, allowing for comfortable living with an efficient use of space.

5-Interior Balconies
Function as a common and open space for the community of the block.  They run across the interior facade of the bloc and connect the different apartments, re-opening them to the under used interior courtyard and rooftops of the block. The generous dimensions and flexibility of the space allow for a wide range of activities. 

Adrià Escolano
Bechara Malkoun