Students at the University Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona have a new option for housing this year—they can design their own dorms. Designed by H Arquitectes and dataAE, the modular housing complex provides studio apartments with a blank interior to decorate and furnish as they want. The two-story project is wrapped in a metal screen which will eventually be covered in vegetation to provide energy-efficient housing for 57 students.
Located near the Vallès Architecture School in St. Cugat del Vallès, this new student housing project may likely be home to many an architecture student and we can imagine it will be in high demand. The residential project is made up of two, two-story linear volumes on either side of a shared courtyard. Situated next to a slope, both floors are accessible from the ground and a central staircase and bridge connect the volumes together. The exterior is wrapped in a metal mesh and plants are slowly starting to grow up through the screen and will eventually provide shade. Large overhangs create a shady walkway to access the studio apartments and create external living space. The design team determined that their project saved 50% in energy associated with construction materials and 70% in energy demand compared to a standard building.
The 57 pre-formed concrete modules were prefabricated and trucked in before being craned into place. Each module is its own studio apartment with all the necessary plumbing, electrical and built-ins already installed. Upon arrival the connections were merely plugged in and they were ready to go. Inside each apartment features a small kitchenette and bathroom unit in the corner. The rest of the room is left blank and bare so the residents can furnish as they want. The walls and ceiling are purposely left as bare concrete. If over time it is deemed necessary, the school can disassemble the units and move or sell them as the modules are easily recyclable.
Images ©Adrià Goula