Refurbishment of a Courtyard Inside a Group of Buildings, Barcelona

Refurbishment of a Courtyard Inside a Group of Buildings. 2014-2015

This is the latest refurbishment project undertaken in a building that houses a hotel, part of a refurbishment programme, which started in 2006, and carried out in different phases. The work involves the refurbishment of the external area of the courtyard (between Mallorca street, Provença street, Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia), a typical block of Cerdà’s Growth Plan (eixample) of Barcelona.

The new external area is situated in the block’s south-western corner, at first floor level in relation to Mallorca street. The total area is 15x40m, i.e. 600m2. The brief required the creation of three new areas: a non-accessible green space at the back, an area with a swimming pool in the sunnier part and an expanse with a restaurant/bar next to the hotel building.

The existing area did not have any solid structural elements to undertake an intervention of this nature. By taking advantage of the integral refurbishment of the lower floor it was possible to carry out a structural reinforcement of the slab in specific areas. Many of the decisions made for the project are based on this.

In the green space at the back of the premises, large stainless steel planters on iron beams have been accommodated. To merge the landscape, a galvanised torsion wire mesh has been placed over this layer, so plants can creep up to cover all the area. The intermediate green roof has been landscaped with the intensive ZinCo system, specifically designed for green roofs.

The intermediate space is enclosed by latticework and integrates a swimming pool and a sundeck. The pool measures 10mx4m and is finished in a sand-colour vitreous coating mosaic. The latticework is completed with two lower brickwork benches laid in rowlock courses of two different widths, one for the bar and another one for the sundeck. The area closest to the bar contains a brickwork bench with dining tables and a chill out zone, while the iron pergola shades this space during the summer months.

The elements that define the new spaces are the brick walls that form the perimeter. Four different types of bonding have been used. The swimming pool wall has been built using stretcher bond, embossing the brickwork in an alternate manner; open stretcher and header bond have been used in the two intermediate walls, while traditional stretcher bond has been applied to the new section of the internal room. Hand-made bricks of 28cmx13.5cmx4.5cm in tune with the party wall have been used. The raised pavement is made of Sant Vicenç stone (60cmx40cm pieces), resting on supports, thus services can run through the cavity. The pergola has been erected with metal profiles and corrugated iron bars so plants can climb over it.

Calle Mallorca 251, Barcelona

Project 2014
Completed 2015
Area 600m2

Quantity surveyor/ Rafa Belloto, Structure engineer/ BBG Estructures, Recerca i rehabilitació, S.L.P., Landscape design/ Josep Farriol, Gardening/ Jardinatura

Photography © José Hevia

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