Gym + Housing Palimpsest

Site (image: Chris Berg)

The aim of this University of Calgary Barcelona Term-Abroad Studio, co-taught with Guest Professor Carles Baiges (Lacol Arquitectura), was to explore how a housing cooperative could take advantage of unoccupied airspace over an existing one-story gym and swimming pool at the edge of Barcelona’s El Raval neighbourhood; a site identified as an “opportunity for urban densification” in the ATRI affordable housing study. Students were issued a program of 47 dwellings consisting of a variety of sizes and types including accessible dwellings and small, temporary “emergency” dwellings for homeless families and individuals, as well as communal space requirements such as a ground floor entrance lobby, bicycle storage space, etc. Since students had to “pierce” the existing gym with new vertical supports, requiring the gym’s renovation, and since the program was exactly the maximum permissible density for the site’s 814 m2 between party walls, this architectural palimpsest project posed a considerably complex design challenge.

Ty McCulloch
Ty McCulloch
Blake St. Peter
Blake St. Peter
Jake Jellis
Kelsey Braun
Josh Schellenberg
Jesse Siegle

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