architect: Benedetta Tagliabue embt (Miralles Tagliabue EMBT)
location: Figueres, Spain
Figueras is a place to which many of our memories are linked. Our project is located in an area that forms the border between city and countryside in the Horta de l¹Hospital district, where there are still unpaved roads running between stone walls. It is a place which seemed to be losing its identity, and the task of the new town plans is on the contrary to preserve its memory. Further on one can see the dome of the Dalì Museum, a belfry, a sculpture. We have suggested a building with 48 apartments measuring from 40 to 70 sqm, intended for rental. The variable height makes it possible to create a topography in the roof and low porches, thus connecting the street with the green area and the round square. Considering the very elongated form of the site, the unit is understood as a line of built volumes that turn in on themselves, enclosed to form a private space in which the housing facilities are inserted. Only two vertical nuclei are necessary to serve the entire block. The building can be conceived as an urban enclosure, housing dwellings with back gardens.
Each dwelling is inspired by the idea of a narrow and very long inhabitable cell (8 meters in facade and 5 meters depth!) with large windows overlooking the street and the distribution scenery behind. The bow windows – the element which unifies the space of the entire apartment – face the street, becoming showcases of the life of the different tenants. I should like to see these windows when people are living in the apartments, when the life in the interior will become part of the life on the street. The main idea of the project has been to create a more urban front and a more rural rear facade.