Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Design Studio IV

Design Studio IV
Second semester
Project Planning Module
Projects 4
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: English

Teaching staff


The course of Projects of the School of Architecture UIC Barcelona will focus on the study of the intervention on the pre-existing constructed in the urban area, understood as the axis of the increasing actions that must be faced in the contemporary city within the context of the historic city fully consolidated.

In a mainly Western context, the industrial revolution of the late nineteenth century led to the first modern extensions that developed around historic centers. These processes of urban growth were unleashed extensively during the twentieth century, leading to post-war development. After the fifties, cities experienced exponential growth, appearing the metropolitan city.

At present, the problem of the city raises innumerable questions arising from the difficulty of maintaining too extensive enlargement. Factors such as mobility, road traffic, distribution of social facilities and, ultimately, the alteration of the environment present the great challenges that must be faced in favor of quality living environments. In these situations, the environmental balance and the control of energy consumption converge in objectives such as the minimization of the resources to be used, the construction processes, the improvement of urban environments and, especially, what is recognized as a historical city.

Within the framework of these logics, and in the coming decades, architectural interventions on cities will increasingly be aimed at consolidating and improving urban pre-existing conditions, both in residential urban fabrics and in the morphological contexts that industries or some of the great facilities within these cities can provide.

Therefore, in this process of consolidation of the so-called post-industrial city, the architect is increasingly required to intervene in built environments in which aspects as diverse as historical value or social and social deficiencies may occur. In these circumstances, architecture is split between preservation and intervention. According to these premises, and within the framework of the university studies of Architecture, it seems necessary to implement academic programs oriented to the teaching of project intervention processes on existing buildings; as well as their participation in the urban environment on which they are implanted.

Therefore, the course of Projects 3 and Projects 4 are considered intervention programs on pre-existing constructions that simultaneously address both the preservation of the architectural heritage and its contribution to the social contexts of the urban fabric. In such circumstances, it will focus on identifying those pre-existences, urban plots and their historical context as well as buildings, as an essential part of the project. Development of the first section of the 3rd course (Projects 3), an introduction to recognize and represent these values of architectural anthropology and in the second semester (Projects 4) the notions and contents will be developed

In the analysis of the pre-existing elements that form part of the baggage of the architectural heritage, it will be deepened in aspects such as the understanding of the values of pre-existing buildings, their potential as urban equipment, and in the determination of building techniques in which they overcome new technologies such as heritage and constructive tradition.

The determination and definition of the training program of credits through theory classes, and practices in the workshop, will establish a relationship between the student and the teacher, to seek to establish relationships with the urban context and in the potential dynamics of social activities of the metropolitan city.

The course of Projects 3 and Projects 4 is formed by professors with extensive experience in the field of intervention on the architectural heritage and built in pre-existences. The course of Projects 3 and 4 will pay special attention to the communicative capacity of the student, as well as the development and representation of a project that concatenates architectural heritage and urban scale.

Pre-course requirements

In order to address the complexity implicit in the development of a project on the pre-existing architectural heritage, we must situate the student in an awareness of previous experiences in examples of buildings that make up the architectural legacy in a national and international context. In this way, the student is encouraged to be involved in the task of finding architectural references and, therefore, developing their cultural baggage. 

On the other hand, it is also necessary that the student becomes aware of the responsibility of his performance, which obliges him to keep in mind and use, as arguments of the project, elements such as: the definition and analysis of the near and far environment, the integration of the volume within the fabric of action, the importance of the relationship between the building constructed and its capacity to generate both public spaces and to make city, as well as knowledge of the organizational structure of its program.


To develop the capacity of analysis of a building constructed with the objective of identifying:

- Architectural values

- Constructive values

- Historical values

- Urban values

- Adapting to new uses

- Recognize the importance of defining a specific program appropriate to the needs of the specific action, trying to recognize that a building in the old town does not have the same requirements as another one in the expansion. Implications: contrast aspects of definition and organization of the program of uses, accessibility, evaluation of construction systems, materiality, etc.

- The need to learn the intimate relationship between the building and the city: That is, how the link between the building and the projected public space intervenes, but also in an inverse sense: how a certain urban situation is favoured by generating spaces for relationship through the intervention on the building itself.

- Establish guidelines that allow the student to know how the program is structured according to its sizes and uses: number, size and proportion of the different rooms, or the organization between the space served and the server space. To do this, they will become familiar with regulatory aspects regarding health and safety.

- Encourage the student to acquire knowledge and references that serve to encourage resources and project proposals. This is promoted through the presentations of the guests and the teachers themselves, interesting information in the course blog, bibliography, etc.

- Influence the constructive and executive aspects of the building. The student must demonstrate the ability to define the usual containers between the different scales of a preliminary project, basic project, and executive project. In order to obtain these objectives, certain deliveries are scheduled, which include the required mandatory documents referring to structure, construction and facilities, which must necessarily be understood in an integral manner.


  • 34-T - Ability to design, practice and develop basic and execution projects, sketches and blueprints.
  • 35-T - Ability to conceive, put into practice and develop urban projects
  • 36-T - Ability to plan, practice and develop construction management.
  • 37 - Ability to develop functional programmes for buildings and urban spaces.
  • 38-T - Ability to intervene, maintain, restore and renovate heritage buildings.
  • 39-T - Ability to eliminate architectural barriers
  • 40 - Ability to express architectural criticism.
  • 41-T - Ability to find solutions for passive environmental conditioning, including thermal and acoustic insulation, climate control, energy performance and natural lighting.
  • 42 - Ability to catalogue buildings and urban heritage and plan their protection.
  • 43-T - Ability to produce safety, evacuation and protection plans for buildings.
  • 44-T - Ability to produce civil works projects.
  • 45-T - Ability to design and execute roads and urban development, gardening and landscaping projects
  • 46 - Ability to apply urban planning ordinances and standards.
  • 47-T - Ability to prepare environmental and landscaping surveys and plans to correct environmental impacts.
  • 48 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the general theories of form, composition and architectural typologies
  • 49 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the history of architecture.
  • 50 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the study methods for the processes of symbolization, practical functions and ergonomics.
  • 51 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the study methods of social needs, quality of life, habitability and basic housing programmes
  • 52 - To acquire adequate knowlege of the environment, sustainability and the principles of conserving energy and environmental resources.
  • 53 - To acquire adequate knowledge of architectural, urban development and landscaping traditions of Western culture, as well as their technical, climate, economic, social and ideological foundations
  • 54 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the aesthetics, theory and history of Fine Arts and Applied Arts.
  • 55 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the relationship between cultural patterns and the social responsibilities of the architect
  • 56 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the principles of vernacular architecture
  • 57 - To acquire adequate knowledge of urban sociology, theory, economy and history.
  • 58 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the methodological principles of urban planning and metropolitan and regional development.
  • 60 - To acquire knowledge of civil, administrative, urban planning, building and professional regulations.
  • 61 - To acquire knowledge of feasibility analysis, supervision and coordination of integrated projects.
  • 62 - To acquire knowledge of property valuation.

Learning outcomes

The fundamental learning results that the student must prove are:

1 Ability to state clearly the objective of their work in terms of:

- Issues to solve.
- Issues to be reached

2 Ability to develop the necessary work tools that allow them to represent and communicate autonomously the requirements and proposals of their projects, while recognizing or distinguishing between optimal or inadequate solutions.

To do this, they must be able to represent, both graphically and at the level of technical contents, the aspects of the project. This must be the result of a deep and measured work, in which the aspects of the project (from the implementation to the technical definition) are the result of a work process by making decisions contrasted with the teacher.




Although their beginnings are not known due to lack of documentation, it is known that it already existed in the 11th century, during the reign of Ramón Berenguer I. In addition, in some sections it coincides with the ancient Roman aqueduct, although it is not clear if all its construction is based or only takes advantage of some parts.

The Rec, which was mainly considered for a purely economic purpose, was swept along the current districts of San Andres and San Martín, and over the centuries it was adapted to the needs of each period. The city, then, grew up around it, and the areas where it passed were the most developed, especially in industry and agriculture.

As historian Enrique H. March explains, "The history of Barcelona is not understood without the production that this infrastructure has meant for the city." And for years the Rec was one of the crucial infrastructures for Barcelona and its economy.

There is an incidence represented by Rec Comtal in the population and social and economic development of San Andres and San Marti, due to its specific weight in the transformation of the region. The most important features of its impact are, without a doubt, the implantation of farms and livestock farms and later the establishment of the industries, because it is undoubtedly the vital artery of the region.

Wise are the vicissitudes of the city and other satellite populations of the plan, to achieve the necessary supply of water for the consumption of its inhabitants, because the lack of liquid element in the course of history have been important and that He has forced to find it everywhere where there was any chance of obtaining it. The fact has been endemic and closely linked to the expansion and demographic growth. Unfortunately, the problem has not yet been solved completely and from time to time, the authorities recommend their savings.

The remains of the Roman aqueduct, in the Plaza Nueva, show a clear direction towards the slopes of Collserola, but it seems that this contribution was not sufficient and the situation of the gods from which it was found is quite clear. However, the existence of a source, capable of supplying the needs of the colony, is unknown.

It is very possible, however, that the waters of different mines were captured, as has been traditional. The driving in the Ciutat Vella and later in the Eixample, using a complicated underground network, is sufficiently documented, existing, inoperative and unknown to the majority of Barcelona residents.                           

All known evidence points to the fact that insufficient water supply to the city was institutional since very old, and the successive corporations had to look for alternative solutions. The archaeological remains and the written documents provide serious data that allows to speculate with the existence of another Roman aqueduct, that with different direction was directed of right in the Besós river.

The appearance is that the layout of this aqueduct made its journey very close to what would later be Rec Condal, and possibly somewhere, the layout would be coincident. The first one, with its own characteristics, because in very specific places, it was elevated by means of "arches, arches torts, arches opera antico facto, ancient arches, Prisco arches, etc.", which documentally fix their passage through the territory.

It is presumable that Rec Old made reference to the aqueduct and that when found damaged, it was fixed by Count Mir (Regomir), between the years 954 and 966, and that Rec Nou was the medieval construction renovated by the Baron of the Limits in the 18th century.

The structure resulting from this last remodeling granted to the Comtat Sèquia, a length of twelve kilometers and only a one-thousand-degree drop. The flow was about 72,000 cubic meters of average daily, subject to fluctuations depending on the weather and the seasons of the annual cycle. As for the cabal, it was distributed between the city and irrigation, at the rate of one third for the first and two thirds for agricultural and industrial use (mills).   

The historic function of Rec Comtal has completely disappeared and nowadays, nothing more is one of many collectors that make up the sewerage network in the city. Its waters are no longer exploited, but it is not far from the date that some 200 peasants still benefited. A figure that is known to us, by the last in charge of irrigation, Joan Sitja i Clapés, who since 1967 stopped exercising this traditional trade.



The proposal for intervention that is proposed in the subject Projects 4, is located along the old track of the Rec Comtal.

A special plan is currently being drafted, calling for the recovery of the memory of the old infrastructure, which is kept just 5% today.

In projects 4, 6 of the 25 sites that are part of this special plan have been selected, with the aim of proposing sufficiently varied interventions that will allow an overall reading of what could be the recovery of the Rec Condal memory.



The objective of the course is to work on the different scales, urban, typological and constructive, taking advantage of a look at a preexistence that should make us aware of the decisions we make.

The plots have been selected to allow us to work the three scales in a natural way.

In all of them, it will be possible to work the urban space considering the pre-existing heritage of the Rec layout.

In all of them, it will be possible to draw a new volume considering the preexistence of the urban layout.

And work on typology and materiality considering the pre-existing heritage of some existing building.

Depending on the plot, the development of the chosen program will focus on a new volume to consider, or will focus on the recovery and rehabilitation of an existing building with architectural or typological value, apart from the intervention in the public space that will be strengthened by the Rec layout.

The interest of the proposal for the planning of this space will be to analyze that pre-existences are determinants, both from the heritage level and from the sociological point of view.

Therefore, the object is to design and reorder these selected sites, having a heritage approach that must undoubtedly be based on preexistence. This preexistence must be investigated and evaluated appropriately. Uses need to be defined based on authentic heritage characteristics. As a selective approach, without discriminating any of the existing conditions in this  specific architectural heritage.

Therefore, the identification work for the first delivery called Analysis (February 8, 2019), it will be crucial to identify the collective memory of the place plus an historical analysis, pre-existing photogrammetric surveying and collective models (by groups). The phase of  Preliminary design-project (March 1, 2019) the previous identified values need to be evaluated, and through historical plans, maps and images of the whole, there will be a justification of the proposed program. The program will be developed based on detected values, organized according to a purpose. Finally, the third submission of the Project (March 29, 2019), will have determined the architectural development by means of the volumetric arrangement of the whole and the typological and constructive project’s solution. 

Teaching and learning activities

In blended

Class exhibition
34-T 35-T 36-T 37 38-T 39-T 40 41-T 42 43-T 44-T 45-T 46 47-T 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 60 61 62 0,6
Class participation
34-T 35-T 36-T 37 38-T 39-T 40 41-T 42 43-T 44-T 45-T 46 47-T 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 60 61 62 0',6
Clase practice
34-T 35-T 36-T 37 38-T 39-T 40 41-T 42 43-T 44-T 45-T 46 47-T 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 60 61 62 0,65
34-T 35-T 36-T 37 38-T 39-T 40 41-T 42 43-T 44-T 45-T 46 47-T 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 60 61 62 0,65
Individual or group study
34-T 35-T 36-T 37 38-T 39-T 40 41-T 42 43-T 44-T 45-T 46 47-T 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 60 61 62 2,5

Bibliography and resources


- Domínguez Moreno, L. A., Sánchez González, D., Borja, J.(2014). Identidad y espacio público ampliando ámbitos y prácticas. Barcelona : Editorial Gedisa.

- Dovey, K 1999, 2008, Framing Places. Mediating power in built form.

- Evans, R 1997, Figures, Doors and Passages

- Fernández Alba, A. (1990). La metrópoli vacía : aurora y crepúsculo de la arquitectura en la ciudad moderna. Barcelona : Anthropos.

- Hagan, S., (2015). Ecological urbanism: the nature of the city, London and New York: Routledge.

- Koolhaass, R., traducción de Sáinz, A. (2014). Acerca de la ciudad. Barcelona, España : Editorial Gustavo Gili, SL.

- Koolhaas, R., traducción de Sáinz, A. (2004). Delirio de Nueva York : un manifiesto retroactivo para Manhattan. Barcelona, España : Editorial Gustavo Gili, SL.

- Layuno Rosas, A. (2013). Las primeras “ciudades de la industria”: trazados urbanos, efectos territoriales y dimensión patrimonial. La experiencia de nuevo Baztán (Madrid). Scripta Nova. Revista electrónica de geografía y ciencias sociales. Vol. XVII, núm. 451. Universidad de Barcelona.

- Lynch, K 1960, The Image of the City, Joint Center for Urban Studies MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Versión Cast: traducción de Revol, E.L. (1998). La Imagen de la ciudad, Barcelona: G. Gili.

- Maki, F 1962, Investigations in collective form, Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.), School of Architecture.

- Mostafavi, M., Doherty, G. (2014). Urbanismo ecológico. Volumen 3, Colaborar. Barcelona : Gustavo Gili.

- Mumford, L 1961, The City in History. Its Origins, Its Transformations, And Its Prospects, Harcourt, Brace & World, New York.

- Muntañola i Thornberg, J. (1978). Topos y logos. Barcelona : Kairó.

- Norberg-Schulz, C 1971, Existence,Space and Architecture, Praeger Publishers.

- Rocha, P. M. da., traducción de Pérez Mata, E. (2011). La ciudad es de todos. Barcelona : Fundación Caja de Arquitectos.

- Rossi A., traducción de Ferrer Ferrer, J. M., Tarragó Cid, S. (1982). La arquitectura de la ciudad. Barcelona, España : Editorial Gustavo Gili.



- Garcia Espuche, A., Guàrdia Bassols, M. (1989). Canvis i permanències de l’herència espacial medieval: de la ciutat de la Ribera a la ciutat de la Rambla, en Historia urbana del Pla de Barcelona (Volum 2): actes del II Congrés d’Història del Pla de Barcelona celebrat a l’Institut Municipal d’Història els dies 6 i 7 de desembre de 1985. p. 9-57, Barcelona : Ajuntament de Barcelona. Institut Municipal d’Història.

- Almerich, L. (1945). La Rambla de Barcelona : su historia urbana y sentimental. Barcelona : Ediciones Librería Millà.

- Banks, P. (2005). El creixement físic de Barcelona, segles X-XIII. Barcelona: Quaderns d’Història, 8.

- Busquets i Grau, J. (2004). Barcelona : la construcción urbanística de una ciudad compacta. Barcelona : Ediciones del Serbal.

- Vila, E. (2012). Breu història de la Rambla. Barcelona : Cercle de Lectors.


“Pla cerdà” and the origins of Barcelona's “ensanche” 

- Busquets, J., Corminas, M. (2009). Cerdà i la Barcelona del futur : realitat versus projecte. Barcelona : CCCB.

- Cerdà, I., Estapé, F., (1968). Teoría general de la urbanización y aplicación de sus principios y doctrinas a la reforma y ensanche de Barcelona. Madrid : Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.

- Grupo 2C. (2009). La Barcelona de Cerdà. Barcelona : Flor del Viento Ediciones.

- Magrinyà, F., Marzá, F., Feliu, R. (2009). Cerdà : 150 años de modernidad. Barcelona : ACTAR.

- Serra Riera, E., Gómez, E., Jiménez, M. (2010). 12 tesis en relació al procés de formació de l’Eixample Cerdà de Barcelona. Barcelona : ETSAB.


Specific bibliography of Rec:

-Marcos Mayer Y Isabela Rodà – El abastecimiento e aguas de la Barcelona romana: Reconstrucción de su trazado ¡. A Segovia y la Arqueologia Romana. Symposium de Arqueologua Romana. Segovia, 1977. Pags. 265-277.

-Enric h: March – El rec comtal: 1000 anys d’història. Ajuntament de Barcelona. Viena edicions.