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Shaping the Urban Environment

Chris Hodson for Copper Forum

The Mediacomplex 22@ project resulted from a partnership between the city of Barcelona, 22@ - an organisation for the development of new technologies - and a commercial company. Its pivotal location sees Barcelona's orthogonal grid intersect with the Avinguda Diagonal - an area with an industrial heritage. The project brings together a diversity of activities including research, teaching, production and creativity - all associated with the audiovisual world.

The design, by Patrick Genard y Asociados and Ferrater & Associados, responds directly to the strong local urban framework while meeting the complex programme and is divided into two, polarized elements.

The Factory is a solid, horizontal block, aligned with an existing 19th century industrial building as a simple continuation. In contrast, the vertically orientated Tower expresses in its plan the changes in street pattern below.

The Factory is opaque and smooth with panels of perforated copper filtering the daylight while the Tower presents a strong vertical grid of deeply recessed, copper-faced screens shading the glazing. But both elements share common proportions and extensive use of copper as a unifying material.

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