Thursday, November 13, 2014


"To go underground is a frequent strategy for architects, planners and engineers seeking to minimize the impact of new facilities and infrastructures on the scarce open spaces of a city. But what usually happens to the trees?"
This month The Architectural Review carries my article on a neighborhood library in Barcelona by BCQ Architects, a local firm headed by David Baena and Toni Casamor.  I also published a different version of the same article last month in architektur.aktuell of Vienna. (The article from the Review should be available on the web to subscribers shortly; I'll update when it's up). 
"BCQ Architects ... folded the building into the retaining walls that separate a small raised public park from the surrounding neighborhood, and converting its roofs into planters that are large and deep enough to permit trees to grow to maturity....  The overall result is a building that blends into its surroundings, adding sectional complexity and interest to the encounter of the raised park with the street below it, through a series of planted piers set at different angles and levels, and alternating with sunken light wells dropping below grade."

I can't resist noting that both article titles are mine.

Taking Root
 Joan Maragall Library, Sant Gervasi, Barcelona, by BCQ Architects
The Architectural Review, Volume CCXXXVI, Issue 1413
November 2014, pages 68 - 7

Under the Trees
Joan Maragall Library
architektur.aktuell 414, September 2014, pages 62 - 73

Photos Courtesy of the architects. © Ariel Ramírez 

1 comment:

  1. A grand idea, nicely executed. I wouldn't mind the window washing contract on this. :) Actually, I look forward to visiting it next time I'm in Barcelona.