La Borda is a cooperative housing complex in Barcelona and was awarded the Mies van der Rohe Award 2022 for “Emerging Architect”. It consists of 28 apartments between 40 – 75 m2, as well as common areas that allow the merging of private and public space.
La Borda was designed by the Spanish architectural collective Lacol. Five members of the collective are also part of the La Borda housing cooperative. The aim was to construct a building that was as sustainable as possible with minimal impact on the environment, during both construction and use.
The design ethos was that a high level of comfort in the apartments should go hand in hand with minimal consumption in order to reduce costs, energy consumption, water, material and also the reduction of waste.
The housing cooperative wanted to promote communal housing models through communal spaces that improve interaction. Nearly 25% of La Borda’s footprint is common spaces. These include an 80 m2 shared kitchen with a dining room that can be used for preparing larger meals or as a meeting place, a 100 m2 covered multipurpose room, two guest rooms, a laundry room, bicycle parking and outdoor terraces.
The six-storey building was realized as a cross-laminated timber construction, with the ground floor being a concrete structure. Hot dip galvanized steel was also used in a variety of ways; as a load-bearing structure for the arcades of the inner courtyard, for access stairs and for the greenhouse-like roof of the inner courtyard.
This captures the sun’s rays in winter and supports ventilation in the summer. In addition, hot dip galvanized steel was used for the balconies and as a substructure for the transparent façade elements made of polycarbonate panels. Galvanized steel not only meets the sustainability requirements of the cooperative, but also harmonises with the wooden surfaces throughout the building.