THE WIND FACILITATES
The project aims to create a “breathing” facade system, which will be able to provide fresh air to both internal and external areas of the Casa Sayrach.
The facade as a metabolic device which helps to tackle air pollution is based on one of the main principles – using clean energy, which provides sustainable design. This metabolic device will rejuvenate its immediate surrounding and create an urban oasis by reducing the amount of air pollutants around the Casa Sayrach.
Completed in 1918, Casa Sayrach is the last Barcelona house built in the modernisme architectural tradition. The work was signed by Gabriel Borrell, but belongs to the architect and writer Manuel Sayrach, son of the project’s promoter. He worked clearly influenced by Modernism in general and Gaudí in particular.
He manifested the ocean and its creatures into the rock formations and walls of Casa Sayrach because, as Gaudi, he also believed that stones hold stories.
The influence of the grandmaster of modernist Catalan architecture is evident. The undulating shapes on the ceilings, railings, and even door handles easily call to mind the Mediterranean sea.
The soft white shapes of the roof gave the building its misapplied nickname, the «House of Cream», for years, since they were supposed to represent mountain snow.
Light tones typical of the Mediterranean – mainly white, symbolic of purity and light, and yellow, luminous and transparent. Facade is clad in Montjuïc stone.
The end result is the effect of walking out of the hot Mediterranean sun, directly into the inside of a prehistoric whale.
Many cities struggle with air pollution caused by urban transport, and Barcelona is no exception. However, as the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona air pollution also stems from the transit of ships and port activity. In fact, emissions from the nearby port can cause up to 50% of total nitrous oxide levels in Barcelona.
According to Barcelona Air Quality Report 2020 by Barcelona Public Health Agency, L’Eixample has the highest level of air pollution and the highest number of inhabitants exposed to it, with 23% of the deaths attributable to pollution in the city.
As a regional centre, the daily transit of goods and people cause problems with air quality in Barcelona. The pollutants considered most harmful to human health in Barcelona are fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), pollutants attributed to urban and regional traffic.
High concentrations of NO2 and particulate matter have been an ongoing problem for the Catalan capital. Based on this ecological situation and local research of air quality in the project’s area we decided to develop a metabolic facade which will purify air from those three pollutants.
The project aims to create a “breathing” facade system, which will be able to provide fresh air to both internal and external areas of the Casa Sayrach. Air cleaning system would optimize the thermal comfort within the building and at the same time improve the airflow outside and hence benefit the surrounding buildings in the neighborhood.
The facade as a metabolic device which helps to tackle air pollution is based on one of the main principles – using clean energy, which provides sustainable design.
This metabolic device will rejuvenate its immediate surrounding and create an urban oasis by reducing the amount of air pollutants around the Casa Sayrach.
SANKEY DIAGRAM | ENERGY CONSUMPTION + SOLAR PANELS
SANKEY DIAGRAM | AIR CLEANING PIPES DIAMETER
AIR CLEANING PIPES
Since the main aim of the project is to create the metabolic device which will reduce the level of air pollution inside the house as well as outside, it was decided to create cleaning system divided into two parts.
The part which works for the environment is located in the middle tower. While the large pipe heats up on the roof, warm air inside the pipe displaces cold one, creating natural air circulation. Air advects from the higher pressure area through the special bio fiber mate filters and air ionizer to the lower pressure area.
NEW SPACES IN THE APARTMENTS
The air cleaning system for interior part is located on the right and left corners of the building. After passing through the same cleaning process, purified air is contributed to every apartment by small pipes made of recycled plastic. The material of exiting roof is planned to be replaced with glass, which will provide better heating for the small pipes and faster natural air circulation.
Modern glazed bay window appears on the facade to create unique spaces with purified air for each apartment.