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6 Blocks

Barcelona, Spain
1 of 6

6 Blocks was done for a local bank. It consists of 6 freestanding buildings, arranged in two rows, one 5 and the other 6 stories in height. Each has a typical stepped plan and steps back in section as well letting light into the lower landscaped levels where there are commercial spaces. There are two very luxurious 2 or 3 bedroom dwellings per floor each with a large suite of living spaces, fireplaces, service entry and domestic quarters, and large terraces overlooking the lush landscaping surrounding the buildings.

The use of wood louvers to screen windows and other openings was a feature of all of Coderch's early buildings. A system of full-height, pivoting louvers was used here to shade windows and balconies. The screening system also includes adjustable awnings at the terraces and integral external roller blinds for the windows, reinforcing the corner emphasis in the detail development of the stepped form. The building steps back at the 5th and 6th floors where there are penthouse apartments with large terraces. The stepped idea is also expressed with the fireplace flues that extend past the roof creating roofscape dominated by chimneys an idea perhaps derived from earlier Barcelona precedents. Because windows occur only at the corners, the continuous tile walls between zones of corner glass reinforce the vertical emphasis of the building.

While Coderch's earlier residences were white, modernist designs, the larger urban projects were typically finished in brick or clay tile. Coderch had experimented with stepping residential blocks before, but 6 Blocks, is an example done at a higher density and becomes the prototype for later, much denser projects, like Las Cocheras.

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bostjan, April 21st, 2016
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