02_Social housing 1737 | H ARQUITECTES



Project title: Social Housing 1737

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The project has been submitted by:

H Arquitectes



Country: Spain

City: Gavà

Address:Plot B2.1 of the western sector, Gavà, Barcelona



Designer or design team architects:

HARQUITECTES (David Lorente, Josep Ricart, Xavier Ros, Roger Tudó) / Collaborators: Néstor Morro, Montse Fornés, Guillem Canudas, Nicolás Ortiz, Maya Torres, Meri Mensa, María Espín, Eva Millán, Jorge Suárez, Anna Burgaya




Plot area – Superficie lotto: mq 5211

Gross Area – Superficie lorda totale: mq 16.528,67


Of which
residential – Di cui Residenziale:
% 63

Public/communal areas – Spazi collettivi/comuni: % 32

Facilities for the public – Attrezzature pubbliche: %

Business/trade – Commerciale: % 5

Offices – Uffici: % 0


Number of residential units – Numero di alloggi: 136

Typology of users – Tipologia di utenti: Families – Famiglie


Total building costs Euros – Costo di costruzione totale in Euro: € 13.137.532,61

Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area – Costo di costruzione = Costo di costruzione totale /Superficie lorda totale: 796 €/mq

Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area – Densità = Superficie lorda totale /Superficie lotto: 3,17


Work started on date – Data inizio lavori: 04/03/2020

Work completion date – Data ultimazione lavori: 07/06/2022




Promoter – Promotore
IMPSOL (Metropolitan Institute of Land Development and Property Management)

Allotment rule – Regola di assegnazione: Social housing

Reduction cost percentege compared to the market value – Percentuale di riduzione di costo rispetto al valore di mercato:

assignement %: 45

rent %: 45





The conventional cost of a residential building is 1200-1400 €/m2, whereas this project was 800 €/m2. This was possible due to the structure being used to act as a façade and interior walls, and by reducing the climatized volume.

Rental/sale cost compared to market price
Costo di affitto/ vendita rispetto al mercato

Being social dwellings, rental (537€ in front of 850€) and sale costs (143.000€ compared to 250.000€) are lower than market price due to having a social responsibility. IMPSOL works with public ground, that can’t be sold or rented above a limit.




Rules of allocation – Regole di assegnazione

As any other public dwelling promotion, there’s a list of interests based on age, rent and other conditions, such as being Gavà’s citizen in order to have preference to buy or rent one of these apartments.

Protection of fragile categories
Tutela categorie fragili
The preference conditions include different kind of vulnerabilities, based on age, gender, etc. There are also five specific and accessible apartments for disabled people.

Involvement of inhabitants in the building process – Coinvolgimento degli abitanti nel processo
There was no specific participation process during the design phase because it was previous to any list of interested people, but the competition bases were based on a reflection process from public developers in order to answer to social demands.

Community accompaniment in the life of the building – Accompagnamento della comunità nella vita dell’edificio
Both architects and developer have met several times with the inhabitants to explain the logics of comfort and the building behaviour. These meetings are also to get feedback and try to solve any technical or management problems.




Functional mixitè – Mix funzionale
The garden between the blocks acts as a collective space, all accesses to staircases cross through this garden. Parking is a natural light and ventilated space for unexpected activities. A commercial space is also included on the ground floor.

Common spaces and shared living – Spazi comuni e abitare condiviso
All neighbours come into the building through only one lobby, a double-height space performing as a meeting room and bike park. The garden is also a collective space, all accesses to staircases cross through this garden.

Techniques and strategies for environmental saving: 
The natural cross-ventilation and the weight of the concrete structure temper the indoor temperature. The cantilevers protect form excess summer gain and promote sun gain in winter. The active system in the pavement is based on aerothermal energy.



The volumetric organization of this project encourages the biological and recreational continuity between the Serra de les Ferreres zone and the Llobregat Agricultural Park in Gavà, Catalonia, complementing the longitudinal circulation with new transversal links that facilitate access to the block. Opening the interior corners of the complex prevents potentially insecure dead zones, while the staggered buildings adapt to the natural slope of the plot. The entire parking zone is placed in the projection of the building to foster a landscaped garden with leafy trees. Only the paths leading to the stairs receive minimal paving; the rest of the land is used as a drainage area to manage the water cycle and consolidate the growth of native shrubs and trees. Wood and vegetation complement the materiality of the concrete outer walls.

An additive system generates the building and intensifies relations between the inhabited spaces and their environs. All rooms face outward, toward the landscape. At the same time, however, these rooms enclose a cloister-like central atrium where the services and circulations are concentrated, giving generous natural light and cross ventilation+ to all the spaces. The project shapes 3 continuous rings – terrace, program, and circulation – with the compact vertical communication cores placed inside the atrium to serve 4 dwellings per level. This layout yields 136 apartments. The central atrium, a sheltered and slightly tempered space, ventilates the stairwell, nuances the dwellings, and makes the residences more comfortable.

Each apartment is shaped by a series of identical non-hierarchical modules, each 10.6 m2, which can be used as living room, kitchen, or bedroom, with outward-facing transition spaces surrounding each room. Along the outer wall, a continuous 1.5-meter-wide balcony runs toward the atrium while an almost symmetric corridor space acts like a glazed porch and converts bathrooms, storage space, or lounge room annexes. Designed as a denser plinth, the ground floor does not use the atrium directly. More conventional, compact typologies are employed to resolve the vestibules, following the same spatial matrix.

A hybrid structure with screens and concrete slabs separates the dwellings, combined with structural concrete slim pillars that permit short, efficient spans and characterize the space in each room.