Private home - Badalona (E)

Mediterranean atmospheres

A multi-family residential building in Badalona, Spain combines a local style with modernity and bioclimatic architecture
Ilenia Carlesimo
Del Rio Bani
Enric Rojo
Year of completion

By applying the principles of bioclimatic architecture to the construction of a multi-family residence in the historic centre of Badalona, one of Catalonia’s oldest cities, the architects from Enric Rojo Arquitectura created a perfect balance between aesthetics and comfort, technology and nature, traditional Mediterranean style and modernity. As explained on the firm’s website, the mission of the practice led by architect Enric Rojo Xicart is «to create innovative and functional architecture that enhances well-being without sacrificing aesthetics». This goal was clearly achieved in the case of the property in Badalona.
Well-integrated into a row of adjacent single-family homes, the building does not have the typical appearance of an apartment block even though it is designed to house several families. Without being overly obtrusive, it stands out for its uniform white colour broken up only by the green window frames. And despite its strong personality, it is «just another house on the street», exactly as the architects intended. It was designed to be environment friendly and is based on a clear bioclimatic strategy that exploits effective lighting, cross ventilation throughout all the apartments and an external thermal insulation system that maintains a constant temperature inside the building and ensures significant energy savings. But that’s not all. «One of the biggest challenges of the project,» explain the architects in their presentation, «was to incorporate an intermediate space — a terrace — into each house, equipped with movable translucent enclosures that allow for use even in winter.» The chosen materials played an important role in achieving this aim in terms of both performance and aesthetics: from the aluminium windows made by the Spanish brand Cortizo to the tiles from Ceramica Cipa Gres, an Italian company specialising in hi-tech, acid-resistant porcelain stoneware. Architect Enric Rojo explains: «In this project we tried to reproduce the traditional Mediterranean colours of terracotta and clay and provide a flooring that would maintain a sense of continuity between outdoors and indoors, in both wet and dry spaces, like a kind of cloak draped over all the horizontal surfaces.» This led to the idea of using Cipa Gres’ Colourstyle series, which the architect is pleased to say «fulfils our aesthetic needs while at the same time meeting the technical requirements of hardness and ease of maintenance». The result is a warm, sober atmosphere that «reflects the Mediterranean character while giving it a more technical and modern flavour», says Enric Rojo.

Cipa Gres, Colourstyle
porcelain stoneware
20x20 - 30x30 cm
Cotto New, Cotto New R10
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,06%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA, ULA, UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 53.7 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 e R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
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