Toy Library and Offices by taller 9s arquitectes

Dialogues between the contemporary building and the old Gothic bell tower

Project Specs


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被回收的城市 | Recycling city


An obsolete ‘corner’ of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is recycled, to transform an existing disused building into a public building that profit from the potential of the site to generate urbanity.



解放哥特式钟楼 | Liberating the Gothic bell tower


With the demolition of part of the existing building it is retrieved the Gothic bell tower of the church of Santa Maria del Pi, freeing it from the current tensions and creating a patio at its feet, future access to the interior of the urban block.

▼建筑夜景,night scene


老开间与新面貌 | Old bay- New body


It’s been rehabilitated the first bay of the existing building to maintain the historic character of the old square. And it’s been built a new body behind the old structure, a new building with zinc skin and metal structure which dialogues with the old part and frees the tower.

▼修复原有建筑的第一个开间,保留原有广场,rehabilitating the first bay of the existing building and maintaining the old square


背景中的钟楼 | The tower as a backdrop


The new part of the building gesticulates and dematerializes to face the tower and the masonry of the tower becomes the fourth facade in all floors.

▼钟楼的石墙成为了建筑各层的第五个立面,the masonry of the tower becomes the fourth facade of the building in all floors


镜子般的建筑立面 | A mirror facades


The facade of the new body which is situated opposite the tower becomes a contemporary reinterpretation of the old Gothic. Stony walls, massive, are transmuted into a semi-transparent skin of vertical slats, the lines of imposts are now metal profiles…

▼哥特式建筑厚重的石墙被转化成一个由垂直板条构成的半透明表皮,massive and stony walls of the old Gothic are transmuted into a semi-transparent skin of vertical slats

▼拱券的券底石被诠释成金属的窗框外轮廓,the lines of imposts are now metal profiles


通风采光的连接空间 | Air and light as hinges


Between the new and the old, a gap of light and air links all floors and visually extends the outside to inside. The old part on the ground floor overlooks the square favouring close proximity between urban citizens and new uses.

▼新旧体量之间用于通风采光的空隙, a gap of light and air between the new and the old

▼通风采光空间细节,details of air and light as hinges


社交活动的发生地 | Container of social uses


▼后勤空间和管道毗邻一条狭窄安静的小路,the logistics spaces and the scale are placed adjacent to a narrow private street

The logistics spaces and the scale are placed adjacent to a narrow private street. The remaining space is freed allowing multiple uses. In the same way that in the old part all the offices open to the square, in the new part the spaces face the tower.

▼新体量中,所有的办公室都朝向钟楼,in the new part, all the offices face the tower

▼旧体量二层办公室,offices on the second floor in the old part


创新性的施工过程 | Innovative construction process


The structural framework was built before the deconstruction of the building in order to hold the buildings nearby. Afterwards it is been worked simultaneously on the finishing of the upper floors and in the archaeological works on the ground floor with the aim of lowering a subterranean floor. This strategy allowed to shorten the period of works 4 months.

▼旧体量一层面对着广场,the old part on the ground floor overlooks the square


一座建筑,一个建筑体系 | A Place, then a construction system


Metal structure, ventilated facade, dry partitions, panels of resins, rubber flooring, stucco traditional cal … The building systems are designed to meet both the difficulties and the demands of the site waste minimization, energy efficiency, durability and the easy maintenance.

▼新体量室内,view of the new part

▼总平面图,site plan

▼一层平面图,1F plan

▼二层平面图,2F plan


Site: Placeta del pi sn, Gothic quarter, Barcelona, Spain
Promoter: Foment de Ciutat Vella, Barcelona Town Council
Authors: Oriol Cusidó & Irene Marzo (taller 9s arquitectes)
Management: Barcelona Town Council
Development of project: 2016-2009
Execution of works: 2009-2010
Built surface: 1.058 m2
Collaborators: Miquel Milian, technical architect; Lluis J. Duart Consulting, engineering; Carmela Torró & Núria Rello, structural engineering; Brisa Martinez, Catarina Marques, design team
Construction company: TEYCO
Photos: Adrià Goula (
Site web:

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