"Casa Bloc, Rehabilitació d’una idea”
Fundació Hàbitat3 has led the transformation of the former nursing home of Casa Bloc to adapt it to the current housing needs of people in risc of exclusion supported by social organizations and people in situations of housing emergency or homelessness cared for by Barcelona City Council social services.
This transformation started Llar Casa Bloc a housing for inclusion project of 17 homes where residents have the support of social organizations to recover and develop their life's projects. The renovation works took place in the midst of the pandemic of 2020 and in February 2021 the new tenants moved in.
A building with history
The building, constructed by the Group of Catalan Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture (GATCPAC) based on the principles of rationalist architecture spread throughout Europe since the end of World War I, mainly influenced by the Bauhaus school, revolutionized building design by prioritizing functionality over ornamentation, driven by a social awareness that demanded improvement in the living conditions of the working classes.
The architects Josep Lluís Sert, Joan Baptista Subirana, and Josep Torres Clavé, the three members of GATCPAC, were responsible for the construction, while the foundation stone was laid by the then president of the Generalitat, Francesc Macià. The unique layout of the building, divided into five blocks that, when seen from above, form a kind of inverted letter "S" or number "2," allowed for maximum utilization of natural light in its two hundred housing units while ensuring adequate ventilation. In addition to the individual units, the building featured common areas and interior gardens. All of this represented a revolutionary approach to housing for the working class, promoted by the Government of Catalonia, which owned the property.
The two floors that have been transformed were, until 2105, a residence for Army widows. In October 2016, the Government of Catalonia leased the Residence of Casa Bloc to Habitat3 to lead a new social housing project.
Digital access and energy efficiency
In the 17 housing units, measures have been implemented to address the digital divide and consumption monitoring systems, thanks to the collaboration of Cellex Telecom. Measures have also been taken to combat situations of energy poverty through collaboration with Fundacion Naturgy, and as a result of a partnership with Ariston, "Llar Casa Bloc" is equipped with Lydos Hybrid water heaters, the only ones class A in the market.
Llar Casa Bloc is a network project that has brought together public administrations, private companies and institutions and social organizations,
It has received support from the Government of Catalonia through the Catalan Housing Agency and the Department of Social Affairs and Families, as well as from the Barcelona City Council.
It has also received financial support from the Naturgy Foundation, Busquets Galvez, Fundació "la Caixa" and the College and Association of Real Estate Agents, along with material and service collaborations from Roca, Ariston, Simon, Cellnex Telecom, the College of Architects of Catalonia, the College of Technical Architects and Building Engineers of Barcelona, Master Builders Solutions, Casa Jové, and Monapart.
Documentary "Llar Casa Bloc, Rehabilitació d'una idea"
The documentary portrays the transformation process of the residence until the completion of the new housing units, as well as the entry of the residents who open their doors and share their life stories.
It showcases the network of alliances that have made the project possible and highlights the importance of housing in people's lives.