Smart 22@ Building / GCA Architects
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Text description provided by the architects. GCA Architects has just completed the construction of Spain’s first intelligent building, Smart 22@, in Barcelona’s 22@ technology district Poblenou. Divided into three independent buildings with a large garden area, the office complex responds to the industrial context while standing out with its own character.
The district, known as the “Catalan Manchester” due to the concentration of more than 40% of the cotton industry in the area, has been a decisive factor in the design of the building. With the impact of the Olympic Games, 22@ technological development and innovation plan, Poblenou has transformed approximately 200 hectares of industrial land into one of the most cosmopolitan and innovative in the city.
It is a project that celebrates architecture’s inherited social responsibility and creates a reconciling bond that can coexist with New city neighborhood and at the same time express Barcelona’s values.
For Josep Riu, architect and partner at GCA Architects, “Smart 22@ is a link between past and future, whose innovative nature lies in the art of integrating eco-efficiency, sustainability and technological innovation with the importance of craftsmanship and respect for local heritage “.
The morphology of the building is based on urban integration with a deep respect for the adjacent buildings, such as the old ‘La Escocesa’ factory: its genetics reflects the characteristic chromatic range of the neighborhood and combines the traditional meaning of a humble material, such as terracotta, with the new manufacturing processes , which makes it possible to work with larger extruded pieces.
One of the main objectives of the project, which started in 2019, has been to work from the social responsibility of architecture to create an integrative volume that coexists with the neighborhood and its inhabitants. These inhabitants appear in the visual works of Julián García Hernández located in the main entrances of the buildings, which portray the people who worked in the area.
Smart 22@ has 24,600 m² of office space spread over three large blocks. The flexible open-plan interior is designed to meet today’s needs. Natural light filters through from the core to the curtain wall facades thanks to a post-tensioned concrete slab structure. The workspace is complemented by common areas such as outdoor terraces, lounge, multi-purpose room, changing room and other services designed to socialize and increase well-being.
The project stands out for its sustainable and energy-efficient features, including 45% savings in water consumption, 32% energy savings and 20% use of materials with low environmental impact. It also has 75% sustainable waste management, 264 solar panels, 63 parking spaces for electric cars and 25 charging points.
The south facade also integrates solar glass panels that contribute to the energy efficiency of the three buildings. It also has an air conditioning system equipped with photocatalysis and active polarization filters to guarantee air quality, among other environmental benefits.
The project stems from the industrial heritage and stands out as a milestone encouraging values such as modernity, sustainability and technology. It is LEED Platinum V4 certified, WELL Gold certified, which focuses on user well-being, and AAA energy certified, in addition to being Wiredscore certified.
The Smart 22@ building uses the global prop-tech platform Sharry to digitize access, parking management and visitor experience. Thanks to its technology, users can access the building’s facilities using their smartphone to unlock counters and doors and a parking space or meeting room with just a few clicks. The APP also facilitates visitor management as it allows the generation of a QR code for visitors, replacing the plastic tag.