Rehabilitation and new construction of 29 homes in the Eixample

  • Place Balmes 167 - París 208. BCN
  • Type Rehabilitation and new construction
  • Total built area 7.520 m²
  • Completion date February 2020

The refurbishment of the residential building designed by Enric Sagnier in 1915 on the corner of C/ Balmes and C/ Paris, and its extension on C/ Paris, form the BALpa complex of 29 households on two adjoining plots.

The site is located within the Eixample Special Complex, in the Conservation Sector, with a level of protection that classifies it as an asset of urban and cultural interest.

There are two pre-existing buildings: the “noucentista” building, consisting of a ground floor, five upper floors and a basement, located on the corner; and the adjoining building on C/ Paris, consisting only of a ground floor with a commercial premises attached to C/ Balmes, with a façade that is integrated into the ensemble by means of homogeneous architecture.

The project is being developed in two successive phases. The first phase consists of the complete refurbishment of the existing building with one premise: the conservation of the original elements and their adaptation to comply with current regulations, with 15 dwellings instead of the initial 10. The second phase includes the construction of the basement, ground floor and first floor. The building has 14 dwellings.

The refurbishment differentiates the work on three levels: structural reinforcement, restoration of the façades and restitution of the elements of artistic interest inside the building. Structurally, all the floor slabs, part of the load-bearing walls and part of the staircase walls have been reinforced, and in order to gain access to the basement floors, significant shoring has been carried out on the ground floor.

The two buildings are separated by an “androna” (or passageway) as foreseen in the initial planning and in the subsequent Special Plan.

The corner location and the passageway allow both buildings to have three façades, giving the interior spaces a good quality of light.

The restoration of the façades is carried out prioritising the conservation of all the original elements, materials and colours

The passageway creates a dialogue between the architecture of the Eixample in the 20th century and today's architecture, which in the extension respects the modulation of the plinth, frieze and cornice with elements of contemporary language

The concept

Both buildings close the façade at the north-west corner, but the passageway that separates them shows us the aerating of space (“esponjamiento”) that forms in the inner courtyard of the block.

The composition of the new building, with five floors plus attic, respecting the average height of the rest of the street (achieved through the Special Plan), reinterprets the language of the Eixample. The original ground floor façade is preserved, as well as the openings and tribunes placed homogeneously with a vertical composition on the ground floors, similar to a frieze, with a dominance of the massif over the void. The attic floor, with openings of different sizes, finishes off the façade as a crown.

The façade material is made of aged floresta stone, placed on guides, forming a ventilated façade that substantially improves its thermal properties.

The rehabilitation consisted of the action on the building at three levels: structural reinforcement, restoration of the facades and restitution of the elements of artistic interest in the interior of the building.

At a structural level, all the slabs, part of the load-bearing walls and the staircase were reinforced and the structural elements were reinforced to allow access to the new basement floors below the Paris building.

The Action on the facade consisted of stripping the plastic paints accumulated on the original stucco and repairing or restoring the altered original elements. We also work on the shutters, both window and balcony carpentry as well as shutters, stripping and repairing those that were kept in good condition and replacing the most deteriorated ones with new ones, always respecting the original colors. The improvement of the thermal characteristics is achieved with glass with a chamber and thermal insulation in the air chambers of the facade and roof slab.

With regard to the interior elements, all the lime stucco and pavements in the common areas are restored or restored, as well as the hydraulic pavements, the carpentry and the moldings in the interior of the houses.

The building resulting from expanding the first to sixth floors of Carrer París has a total of 14 households, a commercial premises and parking spaces in the three new executed basement floors that have access from the ground floor of Balmes.

In this case, the ground floor was completely demolished for the execution of the underground car park, but both the stone geometry of the facade and the original cast pillars were restored.

The main facades, such as that of the hall, are clad in stone and that of the interior of the island is mostly glazed, forming tribunes with balconies and roll-up shutters, classics of the area.

Blanch + Conca Arquitectura

  • Rector Ubach, 28 · 08021 Barcelona
  • T +34 93 200 20 30