The Pisa Social Housing Project in Cornellà de Llobregat was designed by Barcelona based studio Peris + Toral Architects, and completed construction in 2021. The building offers affordable, flexible residences to the neighborhood of Cornellà just outside Barcelona. The building was recently selected as one of the five finalists in the general category of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2022, alongside the La Borda housing cooperative in Barcelona.
This years Masters in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities MAEBB have been focusing on many of the same issues at the center of the Pisa Cornellà and La Borda projects in their studio work during the second semester. Taking advantage of the momentous occasion of the MVDR Award nomination, MAEBB took a trip to visit the exquisitely designed and detailed housing complex in hopes of learning first-hand from this newly minted contemporary architectural masterpiece.
As luck would have it, MAEBB students are in the final stages of detailing their own mid-scale residential apartment complexes for their Urban Interventions studio. The program, scale and context of Pisa Cornellà matches their own quite conveniently: 5 floors of apartments ranging various scales constructed primarily from mass timber, featuring community based non-residential programming on the ground floor and a strategy for addressing a new paradigm of communal interaction within the building. In many ways, this newly constructed project is a master-class on how to achieve all these goals in a cohesive way – Each residence feels spacious but they are compact enough to create an efficient and affordable living situation for the tenants. The central courtyard connects all the residences visually but still affords a gracious amount of private balcony facing inward, giving the effect of a streetside front stoop 5 floors in the air.