Preliminary Studies for a Senior Cooperative Housing at the former “Hotel Solterra”

Sant Hilari Sacalm, Barcelona


Built Area: 4,861.15 m²

Expected cost: 965,26 €/ m²

Client: Sostre Cívic SCCL

Co-authors with DATA AE

Structural Report: DSM

Urban Legal Report: Raimon Soler Renobell

Preliminary studies analyze the technical and economic viability of a potential cooperative housing development for the elderly with self-managed elderly care services on the property of the former Hotel Solterra, located in the municipality of Sant Hilari Sacalm.

The main building is composed by different volumes that were built in separate phases starting in the 1950s. The building’s construction typology encompasses a wide variety of systems based on the construction era and subsequent interventions it has undergone.

The program definition is based on the needs of the initiating group, integrating Sostre Cívic’s architectural criteria for distribution according to types of spaces and typologies, cooperative values, as well as the specific requirements for elderly housing. The basement floor incorporates an access from Avinguda Font Vella, connecting to the circulation core. In the ground floor, the most of the communal spaces occupy the grander rooms of the existing structure around the atrium, while the rest of the floors are structured around the corridor surrounding the atrium, providing access to all housing units distributed in a circular pattern.

The architectural rehabilitation proposal emphasizes the value of the existing building, preserving its structure, spaces, and distinctive construction elements:

The central courtyard is identified as the element that characterizes and structures the preexistence. It is valued as a structural element for the building’s circulations and as a bioclimatic manager with its lightweight roof system, resembling a greenhouse.

The corridor around the atrium connects the two vertical circulation cores accompanying the two main towers. This resolves the circulation system with a single ring, like a promenade, facilitating orientation for users under weather conditions similar to a gallery, and, as such, they are dimensioned to allow appropriation and encourage interpersonal relationships.

The proposal highlights the structure and the most characteristic elements of the preexistence, identifying and recovering the spaces that shape the structural bays. The different housing units adapt to the spaces defined by the preexisting structure, allowing for a clear understanding of the construction typology of each space.

The interior layout of the accommodations is resolved with a lightweight element that encapsulates the bathroom and kitchen, serving as a filter between two rooms without interfering with the continuity of the preexisting space. This low-height box allows for a small loft and takes advantage of the generous clear height of the preexistence.