In Barcelona's technology district of Poblenou, GCA Architects has just completed Smart [email protected], Spain's first 'smart' building. Composed of three independent buildings with a large garden area, the 24,000 m2 office complex responds to the surrounding industrial context, including the old 'La Escocesa' factory, while still distinguishing itself with its unique character.
The project commenced in 2019, with a critical object being the integration and coexistence of the architecture with the neighborhood and its residents. These inhabitants subsequently appear in the pictorial works of Julián García Hernández, located in the main entrances of the buildings, which portray the people who worked in the area. Meanwhile, the exterior of the building reflects the chromatic range of the neighborhood, combining traditional materials, such as terracotta, with new manufacturing processes that allow for work with larger extruded pieces.
Inside, the flexible and open-plan interiors receive plentiful light that filters through from the core to the curtain wall facades thanks to a post-tensioned concrete structure. Numerous common areas, including outdoor terraces, lounges, multipurpose rooms, lockers, and other services support work areas.
In line with its impressive industrial legacy, the building encourages progressive values such as modernity, technology, and sustainability. LEED Platinum V4 certified sustainability measures result in an impressive 45% savings in water consumption, 32% energy savings, and 20% use of low environmental impact materials. The project also features 75% sustainable waste management, 264 photovoltaic panels, 63 electric vehicle parking spaces, and 25 charging points.
The south façade also integrates photovoltaic glass panels that contribute to the energy efficiency of the three buildings, and an air conditioning system equipped with photocatalysis and active polarization filters guarantees air quality, among other environmental benefits. Additional certifications include WELL Gold certification, which focuses on the well-being of users, and AAA energy certification, in addition to being Wiredscore certified.
Finally, the building implements the global prop-tech platform Sharry to digitize access, parking management, and the visitor experience. As a result of this technology, users can access building facilities using their smartphone to easily unlock turnstiles and doors and a parking space or meeting room.
Josep Riu, architect and partner at GCA Architect, says of the project “Smart [email protected] is a link between past and future, whose innovative character lies in the art of integrating eco-efficiency, sustainability, and technological innovation with the importance of craftsmanship and respect for local heritage".