Barcelona is going through a moment of housing emergency where 40% of the purchases of flats are made only to invest and the increase of tourist apartments exponentially increases the price of rents. There are large numbers of empty homes and the lack of rental housing makes the neighbors forced to move, a phenomenon known as gentrification. Currently Barcelona only has 1.5% of social rental housing, a figure far removed from the 50% in Vienna, or 30% in cities such as Berlin or Paris. Barcelona City Council considers access to housing a priority and is implementing policies to increase these figures.
Sensitive to this problem, from ARCHmedium we invite students and young architects to explore new typologies about social housing in a consolidated environment in the center of Barcelona. We propose the transformation of an existing office building from the 20th century to social housing. The existing 18.000m2 will house 160 homes and small scale businesses. The objective of the competition is to guarantee the social function of housing through rethinking the housing space. Proposals must explore new typologies and urban ways to respond to the program and improve the scope of intervention. The intervention must meet the highest environmental criteria, seeking a low energy consumption.
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