Architects: LACOL 

Typology: Offices, bookshop, restaurant and concert venue

Location: Barcelona

Construction Date: 2018-2019

Photos by: Álvaro Valdecantos

La Communal occupies half of a block in the Sants district of Barcelona. It is a protected industrial building, built in 1926 for the manufacture of naval sails. It is currently the workspace of eight organizations, including Lacol.

In the intervention, the initial geometry has been recovered, rehabilitating the original constructions and adding a small new building to the dividing wall of the neighboring houses. The central courtyard, in addition to allowing ventilation and lighting of all the spaces that surround it, is an element of centrality to meet with others.

The buildings, except the restaurant and concert hall, received a minimum treatment. On the roofs, after removing the piecesof fiber cement with asbestos, a corrugated galvanized steelsheet was placed to differentiate those materials added in the project from the existing ones.

The climate strategy can be divided into three axes. Starting with the air, greenhouses have been incorporated to capture Sun heat, and the air-conditioned square meters have been reduced. As for the water, a 5,000-liter tank allows the use of the water from the roofs for irrigation and cleaning. Finally, the material intervention of the existing buildings has focused on their consolidation and their energy and bioclimatic behavior. Insulation has been improved with a mix of lime and cork mortar to ensure compatibility and behavior with the materials and techniques required in a heritage intervention. 1,200 linear meters of joists have been reused as rakes to place the roof insulation. Floors and other elements in contact with the ground have been insulated with envelopes from rigid insulation from the sandwich panel industry