Positive Buildings It is an initiative promoted by the non-profit cooperative Territori Socialment Responsable (TSR). At the moment it is a pilot project in Catalonia but later it aspires to be available in other cities.
The philosophy of Positive Buildings is based on conceiving a building as a small company where everyone knows each other better, collaborates and shares services, from washing machines to shared cars.
More than buildings, then, we would be talking about small cities where social relations between their tenants are enhanced. An initiative that was born as a response to the tendency to build smaller and smaller homes (due to the concentration of people in large cities) and the technology (that allows connecting with each other and sharing the goods and services of the building or the tenants themselves more efficiently).
So, conceptually, Positive Buildings looks like what the architect Ricardo Bofill imagined when he built the building Walden 7 in Sant Just Desvern (Barcelona).
The Walden is made up of eighteen towers that move from its base forming a curve and contacting the adjacent towers. The result is a vertical maze seven interior courtyards connected vertically and horizontally.
These patios are connected to all levels through horizontal and vertical circulations. The alleys and passageways are named after great personalities of the 20th century such as Chaplin, Marx or Kafka or Albert Einstein.
Originally it was called Ciudad del Espacio and it was thought to be built initially in Madrid. It was inspired by the author’s utopian science fiction work Burrhus Frederic Skinner, Walden two.
It consisted of the construction of a large number of self-managed houses to simulate a small vertical city, with houses and apartments, streets, stores and shops. Half of the floor area would be used for community uses, circulation and gardens. In this way, even with a relatively high density, it could be counteracted by the vertical space.
As explained Miró i Rufà Josep Maria in “Walden 7” from Architecture Notebooks:
Walden 7 represents something from which a whole series of ambitions begin to melt: the city in space, consumer architecture, the apparently unconventional life of the “gauche divine”, the superimposable and salable space, the organized anthill and an etc., endless of an endless number of elitist principles very much in vogue today.
The writer José Agustín Goytisolo, a former neighbor of the Walden, would publish a book of poems where he refers to the Walden. The building’s parking lot is decorated with Goytisolo’s words like this short poem:
Just like in a cave or magic castle
everything was going to change in that place,
everything was going to change because in the dream
impossible things happen easily.
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