adress/ carrer rosselló-porcel s/n, barcelona
surface area/ 3.860 m2

project/ 2006-07
construction start (forecast)/ 2009

architects/ vora arquitectura (pere buil castells i toni riba galí).
project team/ beatriz borque, sónia gaspar, aina traverso, arnau boronat
structure/ eskubi-turró arquitectes
services/ grupo jg ingenieros consultores
lightning design consultant/ biosca i botey (jordi ballesta, michaella mezzavilla)
budget control/ guillem llorens gragera (sco)
client/ ubae fitness s.l.

this project involves the extension of can dragó public swimming pool. the existing building forms part of the block of public facilities contained within three urban blocks situated along an axis running between meridian avenue and el paseo de andrea nin. here there are a series of sports pavilions, courts and park areas for different sports and recreation activities. the existing building is the work of espinach and ulbach.

the formal complexity of the existing building and the site irregularities forced a solution that was strong enough to generate its own order and at the same time respond respectfully to the various junctions within the existing building. this internal order is achieved through the creation of an internal courtyard that absorbs the various building functions and activities. this courtyard shares an architectural language with some of the volumes of the existing buildings which play with different approaches. the courtyard goes down to the basement from where the circulation of the whole building is organised.

volumetrically the building rises in the form of a spiral around the courtyard from the lowest part, the vestibule in the basement, to the highest part on the second floor. the highest part forms a strong street corner to rosseló and porcel street and the paseo de andreu nin. this volume acts as a counterpoint to both the empty internal courtyard and the large existing swimming pool building.

the building is organised by a series of ‘trays’. the floor slabs or ‘trays’, wrap themselves around the courtyard and extend to the site boundary. the floor areas decrease as you rise through the building. they create a spiral that has its critical point on the corner of the two streets. to emphasise the idea of trays, the floor slabs extend beyond the façade. the horizontality created by this move allows the building envelope to slide in between the trays like ribbons that wrap the building, enclosing each floor.

the enclosures vary depending on whether they enclose the courtyard or form the façade to the street. a type of reversible volume, it has a hard skin and a dark frontage to the street - the public face, but in contrast has a softer and luminous face within the heart of the complex.

the wall formed by this harder skin is neutral, allowing the union of the strongest two existing architectural elements - the confrontation between two walls of different character and materials that have the same presence on the street. one of the walls is the generator of the existing building and the other defines the limits and the principle façade of the project: one is clad in stone and the other in brick. the new proposal tries to unite these two elements through a neutral mix of monochromatic solid wall planes and glazing that avoid conflict and competition with the existing elements and in so doing reinforce the quality of both.

extension of can dragó public swimming pool