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Diagonal Besòs UPC Campus in Port Fòrum

Two research buildings for the Polytechnic University of Catalonia between Barcelona and Sant Adrià de Besòs.

Campus Diagonal Besòs UPC al Port Fòrum
Campus Diagonal Besòs UPC al Port Fòrum

Diagonal Besòs UPC Campus in Port Fòrum

The Diagonal-Besòs University Campus of the Polytechnic University of Barcelona is located next to the Forum area, between Taulat Street and Ronda Litoral, and is earmarked to host in the future all the installations of the degree program in Industrial Engineering and Innovation, comprising all the areas of management and faculty, lecture halls, research areas, and laboratories.

Authors

Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran – Architect

Team

Helena Salvadó Giné, Meritxell Moyà Vilalta, Rachel Belaustegi, Goretti Guillén, Oriol Vañó – Architect

Collaborators

STATIC Ingeniería – Structural engineering, Citrotech – Structural engineering, AT3 Oller-Peña – Building engineers

Promoter

UPC – Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Infraestructures de la Generalitat de Catalunya

Construction company

Ferrovial Agroman, Acsa Sorigué, Dragados, Copisa

Project status

Built

Start date

2008

Finish date

2016

Total area

11.850 m2
© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark
© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

The DIAGONAL-BESÓS University Campus of the Polytechnic University of Barcelona is located next to the Forum area, between Taulat Street and Ronda Litoral, and is earmarked to host in the future all the installations of the degree program in Industrial Engineering and Innovation, comprising all the areas of management and faculty, lecture halls, research areas, and laboratories.

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

The Campus is developed from an urban plan that takes as a model the city as a form of settlement and, therefore, the street, as the backbone of the whole. The choice of an urban model, compared to other more architectural models, such as some Dutch and German campuses, or landscape, like some North American campuses, makes sense in a climate and in a culture like ours that favors the promenade and the gathering of people in outdoor areas like the street, the square, etc. This urban plan understands the Campus as a set of buildings of medium-scale that fragments the program into economically acceptable units for its construction. The plan also anticipates the final volume of these buildings, determining for each of the two heights. Those that overlook Taulat street would be of GF(Ground Floor)+7 and GF+3 whereas those that overlook Ronda Litoral would be of GF+5 and GF+3, with the lower height volume always located towards the central axis of the Campus. Our project develops two of these buildings, the C based on Taulat Street and the I that overlooks the Ronda Litoral, both intended to house research areas and to be composed mainly of classrooms, laboratories, and offices.

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

Although the volumetry of both was specifically different, we decided to homogenize the proposal by arranging both buildings from an identical sequence of bays, a central one for access and services and two lateral ones of different widths, the smaller for offices and the larger for laboratories. In building C the sequence is perpendicular to the street, while the building is located in parallel, which allows us to incorporate one more bay in the building, separating it from the others by means of a patio that illuminates and ventilates it. The buildings are placed on both sides of the pedestrian street that structures the set and provides direct access to both sides. Access to each building is made from a porch that protects the entrance. In the interior and thanks to the staggering of the buildings, some terraces are defined that, focused on the central street, become meeting areas for users taking advantage of the good weather, the interest of the views, and the centrality of its location.

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

Once the functional order of the buildings was established, a system of homogeneous outer walls was found that was capable of dealing not only with the insulation but also the structure. For this, we designed a structural façade that is made with precast concrete pillars that by their shape and arrangement also act as sun protection. The walls, made of glass and aluminum, are set back so that they generate a shaded and ventilated interstitial zone. The sequencing of the structural ribs allows for an interior division of great versatility that is easily adaptable to the possible modifications of use that can be produced over time. This system of the structural enclosure is used in the longest facades of the volumes that are obviously the load bearers. In the end, however, a prefabricated concrete enclosure is chosen, opening only on the ground floor to generate the entrances to the building, both the main one, facing the central promenade, as well as the secondary and service ones, opening onto Taulat Street and Ronda Litoral. The inner courtyards are also dealt with in the same way as the structural facades and allow the building to descend one level further into the subsoil to locate there some of the most complex uses.

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark