A yoga centre built with rammed earth blocks
The MIBI yoga centre, on the ground floor of a residential building, was built with prefabricated rammed earth blocks. It is the first project using this technique in Barcelona area.
Earth was widely used in vernacular architecture in this region, as in most regions of Europe. It is a low-carbon material, it is a natural and locally available resource and it is completely recyclable.
This project aims at being part of a "new vernacular" architecture, inspired on local materials and techniques, while featuring a contemporary design and an efficient bio-climatic building performance.
Programme and design
The floor plan counterposes to the orthogonal distribution of the existent building a set of diagonal lines that guide the users from the reception to the rear terrace. Two lines of light run along this path, highlighting the texture of the earthen walls and creating a cozy atmosphere. The solidity of the earthen walls contrast with their glazed upper part, that lets in natural light and provides views of the surrounding trees. Sight can cross through the venue, giving passer-bys a glimpse of the rear terrace.
The reception has been designed as a particularly luminous space, thanks to multiple direct and indirect light sources. The wooden custom-made furniture follows the diagonal lines of the space. On the floor, two different materials mark the limit between the reception, paved with natural slate, and the yoga zone, where people walk barefoot, paved with parquet of bamboo.
From the reception, the hallway leads us to the multifunctional hall, that opens onto the rear terrace. Here, barefoot, sitting or lying on the floor, people experience the sight and the touch of the wooden, earthen and bamboo surfaces. A massage room is located in the inner part of the yoga centre, and it opens onto a private part of the rear terrace.
A psychotherapy room occupies the corner of the building, the most appropriate zone for this activity according to Feng Shui philosophy. Placing such an intimate room next to the sidewalk and on the corner of a block generated a specific design solution: earthen walls, two meters high, occupy the inferior part of the former showcase windows. This created an enveloping and cosy space for the psychotherapy room, that is surrounded by four earthen walls. This design also materialises the presence of earth on the outside of the building, characterising the corner of the block.
Choosing earth is part of the bioclimatic design of the venue. As a high mass material, earth evens out temperature fluctuations by time-delayed releasing of absorbed solar heat. This provides a stable and comfortable internal temperature, through passive heating and cooling. Moreover, earth absorbs moisture from the indoor air and releases it when air gets dry. This dynamic stabilizes humidity and provides a healthy living environment inside rooms.