Nicaragua Apartment Building
“This eight-storey apartment building is located on a small corner site of Nicaragua Street in a typical Barcelona neighborhood. The characteristics of the site (corner location, party walls on two sides, north orientation) have determined in large part the resulting form.
The program consisted of designing a building (under the government-sponsored rent-controlled housing bill) with 30 per cent shops and offices on the ground and first floors. The apartment units are on the average 75 sqm in the area. The penthouse apartment is 150 sqm with custom-made program; conceived on three levels it includes a landscape terrace and a swimming pool on the top floor.
An open patio on considerable size was designed to provide light and cross-ventilation to the bedrooms and staircase. The façade is closed to the north, opening instead to the east and west, which not only avoids an unfavorable orientation but also presents a façade to the building on the opposite corner, achieving in this way vistas to both side streets. A considerable amount of light is thereby focused into the interiors.
The project represents a time when the opportunities for industrialized construction in Spain were extremely scarce. Yet it achieved various goals, such as the annihilation of the classically composed facades, the elaboration of adequate spaces, and a certain purely aesthetic research offering endless formal possibilities that produced excellent results in terms of both the façade design with the use of local materials such as brick and iron-work, and of the apartment interiors. The building won the FAD Architecture Award in 1964.” (Text: ricardobofill.com)