Second layer
Barcelona, Spain
Streets with (new) meaning
Ways of living, ways of sharing
Transforming, adapting, reusing
A pathway, punctually connected with the public space, that gives access to the new apartments laid out above the neighborhood pre-existing buildings.

The “Second Layer” (Segundo Escalón) project is an intervention in a neighborhood in Poblenou, Barcelona.
The neighborhood is mainly composed of dwellings of one or two floors, small in scale when compared to the surrounding area and the already proposed urban plan for that part of the city.

Following the work methodology developed by the studio Arquitectos de Capçalera, our proposal attempts to integrate the neighborhood into the ever-evolving city of Barcelona working from the existing city's housing and fulfilling a social responsibility by listening carefully to the habitants concerns.

Once in the neighborhood we were told that one of the biggest problems in their houses was the lack of space, particularly for their children. Thus, we started to develop new volumes on the terraces ,since they were rarely used, that could then be converted into living spaces.

The construction of the living module begins with just a simple wood structure that combined with fabric creates a pleasant shade for the sunny days. After that, with the addiction of a ceiling and some walls, a bedroom comes into shape; then, if necessary, a kitchenette and bathroom could be added and, if there’s still space left, a small living room could be created.

The idea was then further developed into a more complex system where a pathway punctually connected to the public space would hover above the roof of each house giving access to the new apartments, not only being capable of providing independence to its current residents, but also enabling the future integration of new families in the neighborhood.

In short, the project adds more density to the streets without sacrificing its small scale and guaranteeing the people's right to their property in an neighborhood affected by a insensitive urban plan.


There will always be the urge to build "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", but we think we should just build smarter.
Unlike the projects previously proposed for the area, the Second Layer project revolves around the direct and interpersonal contact with the residents of the neighborhood. We think that is essential for an intervetion with such a social and urban impact to have has its main catalyst the people that make the neighborhood. The city of the future is the city of the present and, therefore, the work must focus on "those who are here".

The four different stages of development of the project. Going from two particular cases to the urban scale of the whole neighborhood.

The two study cases. Ines´s house and Sara´s house.

The living module - an extension to the existing houses that generates new living spaces for its habitants.
The living street - a redesigned public space capable of generating social activity.


The team constists of three students (Ana, Joan and João) that attended the studio Taller Tematic runned by the atelier Arquitectos de Capçalera at Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona.