The new Escola Massana is part of a competition also including housing, the extension of La Boquería Market, and the urban transformation around Plaça de la Gardunya. We didn’t want to configure a square through frontality of the three interventions. The public space we create can be interpreted as a series of small spaces connected to the existing ones, and not as a single space with one clear center.

Unlike the residential block, for which we sought a domestic scale that dissolves into its context, the school asserts its presence on the square as a unique and dynamic piece.

With the objective of keeping the new building – larger and more abstract – from taking up the whole square, we place the entrance in front of the future connection with the

courtyard of the Biblioteca de Catalunya and create a new public space between Plaça de la Gardunya and Plaça del Canonge Colom. The volume of the building is split

up into two pieces, offset to generate the terraces the brief asked for. The result is a dynamic building, the facade of which avoids frontality with regards to Plaça de la


The interior is open and unitary. A terrace at the end of each circulation space opens up the building to the square, responding in this way to a request for gathering spaces.

Though each facade is explained in relation with its context – always diverse –, and despite the fragmented geometry of the terrain, the building has a strong unitary presence.

Escola Massana is a true institution which trains future designers and craftspeople. We want the facade to express its unique and emblematic character while also serving as the backdrop of what goes on in the square. To this end it is clad with a ceramic material of large dimensions, crafted specifically for our building.

source: Estudio Carme Pinós