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World Building of 2011: Media-ICT by Cloud 9

Media-ICT office building in Barcelona designed by Cloud 9. Photo: Iwan Baan

Cloud 9 won the top price at the World Architecture Festival 2011 with their Media-ICT office building for Barcelona's new 22@ district.The Barcelona-based architecture office Cloud 9 Architects won the award World Building of the Year 2011 at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, Spain, with their Media-ICT office building.

The Media-ICT office building is situated in Barcelona's new @22 district. Design by Cloud 9. Photo: Iwan Baan

Cloud 9 was commissioned to develop the Media-ICT building for the new 22@ district in Barcelona with a concept that is representative of the information age – i.e., in recognition that architecture is a technology platform that consists of computer system connections and new materials.

Barcelona’s new 22@ district is planned by the municipality as an experimental district, where new business values are intangible. Cloud 9 explained that they “were extremely interested in this digital city model based on TIC (information and communication technology), with the idea of a city where what matters is knowledge, added value and patents, in short, where the objective is for your architecture to be in sync with your own values.”

The Media-ICT office building is a cube in volume with the ground and first floor to be used by the public. Design by Cloud 9. Photo: Luis Ros

The Media-ICT building is a cube with the dimension of 44m x 44m x 37.82m in height that is located on a site of about 3,570 m2. The program is fit in eigth floors with a total of 16,000 m2 above ground and in two floors with a total of 7100 m2 below ground.

The upper floors - from eighth to fourth floor - are rented out to big companies, while emergent companies occupy small spaces on the second and third floor. The first floor is open to the public providing spaces for courses that are accessible to all residents: It houses the auditorium and the Cibernarium, a collaboration project between EU and the Latin America, coordinated by the City of Barcelona, that was set up with the purpose to develop electronic services, the use of Internet and the information society skills of the citizens in order to to diminish the digital divide between citizens. The ground floor is used as a space for exhibitions, workshops and events. It is free of columns with the intention to allow public space to ‘flow’ into the inside of the building.

The architects of Cloud 9 explain that they intended to convey with the Media-ICT building’s façade that the “construction is built from the top and moves downwards, becoming transparent, anti-gravitational, and almost liquid at the bottom”

The southern facade of the Media-ICT office building is covered by EFTE cushions. Design by Cloud 9. Photo: Luis Ros

The façade facing south is made of inflatable ETFE cushions that act as a variable sunscreen - opening in winter to gain solar energy, and closing in summer to protect and shade. At the southwest façade Nitrogen-based fog is introduced in these cushions to increase their opacity and thus to screen off the building’s users.

The photovoltaic roof, the use of District Cooling and smart sensors are additional features that allow optimize energy use within the Media-ICT building.


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