©: Manuel de Lózar + Paula López Barba

Bricktopia is the winner Project in eme3 “Build-it” category. It proposes the construction of a complex vaulted geometry using tile in the courtyard of the old thread factory Fabra i Coats. For its construction, traditional tile vault system is used, also known as “Catalan vault”, combined with digital form finding tools for structural optimization through geometry, that ensure that the vault works only with compression stresses.
The main intervention is a pavilion that provides the square with a shadowed and sheltered space, that can accommodate several activities and that is used as a meeting point for conferences, debates and projections. It also includes a bar and a chill out area.
The proposal comes as a result of a research that the team are developing at this moment, with the assistance of Chair Professor of building technology José Luis González, who defines tile vault as < > Text from the prologue in the book ”Construcción de bóvedas tabicadas” by Angel Truñó, architect and Professor in architecture School of Barcelona
The pavilion is inspired by the prototype developed by Philippe Block, Lara Davis and Matthias Rippmann at University ETH de Zurich, with which they demonstrated the reliability of the program RhinoVault that they developed, also used to design our pavilion.
As it is an experimental project that puts this kind of constructive system to the limit, its development and execution require lots of effort from all the people involved in it. With this research, we recover the material tradition, collect the construction knowledge and use modern computational tools to develop a job which will offer concave and protected space that aims to establish a strong link to the origin of all cultures.
Not only, specialized workers are involved in its construction, but also the team of the Project with eventual collaborators and a group of architecture students, through a workshop organized with the Architecture School of Barcelona, ETSAB.

To serve as a base for construction, a scaffolding system has been mounted, forming a platform where formworks are placed and can define geometries for the vault.
Thanks to this intervention, the square space is shaped, to allow different activities to take place, both under the vaulted pavilion and in the areas created in its environment. It is offering a public space with sun bath areas, bar, and stages to enjoy it during 2013 summer
The pavilion enters into respectful dialogue with factory existing buildings, which are also performed using ceramic materials, and at the same time, it introduces a traditional construction system widely used in Catalonia during centuries. This system is inexpensive, sustainable and offers the possibility of self-construction, but requires greater specialization of staff work, which must be composed by excellent builders that can make a craft. The challenge of the layout and construction of a tile vault allow enjoying the work because of its dynamism and the level of expertise required, that might not be needed in other kind of structures, which are standardized.

©: Manuel de Lózar + Paula López Barba


Authors of contest: Marta Domènech, David López López and Mariana Palumbo

Execution team:
Marta Domènech, David López López, Mariana Palumbo, Paula López Barba and Josep Brazo Ramirez.

The architects Marta Domènech, David López López and Mariana Palumbo, members of the international collective MAP13, presented the project Brick-Topia, which was selected in the category “Build-it” to be constructed. Three young architects who combine their professional career with the academic one. Currently they are employed as researchers at the university. Marta, in the Design Department of the School of Architecture of Barcelona at the UPC; David, in the Block Research Group in the Institute of Technology of Architecture at the ETH Zurich and Mariana, in the GICITED research group in the Materials Laboratory of the School of Building Construction of Barcelona also at the UPC, respectively.

The architect Paula López Barba is an expert in public space and interventions for events. Postgraduated in architectonic rehabilitation in Escola Sert from the Architecture Council of Catalunya and founder member of Panarquitectura.

Josep Brazo is the project manager of Sapic. He is an expert in historic building rehabilitation and construction timbrel vaults.

Construction collaborators:
Alejandro Caballero, Rafael Salas, Manuel de Lózar, Alfonso Godoy, Miguel Melas, Jaume Nadal, Igor Vuleta, Oriol Palou, Hugo José López López, Patricia Mancas, Irene Subils, Montse Pastor, Alba Montero, Susana Oses, Eva Palaudàries, Antonella Mancas, Aleix Borrell.

Guillem Galofré, Montserrat Jordi, Nuria Alvarez Coll and Miguel, Maarten Liefoghe, Lluís Enrique Monzó, Ricardo Santacruz, Claudia Manferrari, Maria Múzquiz, Inma Bernal, Guillermo M. Gómez, Izaro Ezeiza, Marta Barraca, Carlos Corral, Jefrey Lawrence, Maria Vergé, Lionel Meunier, Noelia Salvador, Hassan Oulhou, Conxita Pladellorens y Pepe.

Lighting project:
Jordi Ballesta and Colectivo Lupercales

Photography and video:
Manuel de Lózar and Paula López Barba

-Constructors: Sapic + Calaf + Closa + Cots i Claret + Urcotex.
-Tile materials: Bóvila artesana Durán + Ceràmiques Piera
-Cement: Collet
-Scaffolding: Alco
-Metacrilat: Nudec
-Tools: Rubí and EPSEB, Escuela Politécnica superior de Edificación de Barcelona
-Materials: Sapic
-Brick cleaning: mpa
-Solera: Presolera
-Encofrado: Alsina
-Topography: GTC
-Laser: Iaac, Institut d’Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya
-ETSAB, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona.

-El Houcine Chtioui Saalmoon, Javri Hamed y Pere Bosch i Torné (Urcotex)
-Yahya Albachere, Said Bassuu y Braim Gueedaoui (Calaf)
-Vicente Aranda Anguita, Jacinto Plaza y Daniel (Sapic)
-José Torrejón y Torrejón y Antonio (Closa)
-Lluis (Cots i Claret)

Responsible architects: Marta Domènech and David López López