Mediaurban to design and build 47 low-cost rental flats in Barcelona
The new flats will feature Habitant, the app designed by the Urban Content Agency of the MEDIAPRO Group
The Barcelona City Council, through the Institut Municipal d'Habitatge i Rehabilitació (IMHAB), has selected the project presented by Mediaurban (the Urban Content Agency of the MEDIAPRO Group) and the Hàbitat3 Foundation in compliance with urban planning legislation for the construction of 47 social housing units dedicated to public rental on 11-15 Badajoz street, in the Poblenou neighborhood. The homes will be fitted out by Habitant, the app designed by Mediaurban.
This award represents Barcelona City Hall’s first implementation of a new model called “delegated promotion” through which it awards third parties the promotion of affordable housing projects while the land remains in the ownership of public land. In this case, for the first time, the successful bid and developer is not a foundation or a non-profit entity but a commercial company, and the winning bid proposal has offered that the price of the house to be built is not only far below market price but also below the price of officially protected housing. The rental prices will be between € 5.5 per m² to €7 per m², compared to an average of 13-14 per m² in the area. Mediaurban, therefore, has presented a construction project of 47 protected rental apartments measuring between 50 m² to 80 m², to be managed by the Hàbitat3 Foundation.
Mediaurban will be responsible for the design and construction of the 47 apartments in a building plot of 4,340 m², known as “Illa Sibèria”, which will be rented out at affordable rates. Mediaurban and the Hàbitat3 Foundation have presented the best technical and economic proposal for the tender. The project, financed using private funding, also provides for the authorization of collective use spaces on the roof and in some areas of the ground floors such as an industrial laundry, a library and a landscaped area for community vegetable gardening, among others.
There will also be an area devoted to conserving the memory of the venue as a space within the urban complex, a tribute to the neighborhood of La Plata and the grassroots revolution undertaken by La Sibèria through the process of industrialization of artificial ice, which transformed consumption habits at the metropolitan level.
The promotion of rental housing for official protection in the "Illa Sibèria" aims to provide affordable housing to people who appear on the Register of applicants for official protection public housing in Barcelona. The area can also be used by local social groups and bodies. Mediaurban is responsible for carrying out the architectural project, the design and construction of the houses, which will be managed and administered by the Hàbitat3 Foundation, manager of social rental housing promoted from the Third Sector Committee. Families who are entitled to housing will be able to access if they are registered in the Single Registry of applicants for protected housing in Barcelona, through the regulated access processes carried out by the Barcelona City Hall.
Among the aspects that have stood out and that have been valued well above other proposals presented during the public bidding process are the flexibility of housing and the quality of the space of the architectural proposal, as well as universal accessibility, constructive rationality , structural and facilities.
The proposal contains double-orientation homes (one facing the street and the other inside the block) formed by a large dining space; an open kitchen that occupies the central space and articulates the distribution of the house, which allows the grouping into two, three or four rooms depending on the needs of occupation; and two terraces with glass doors to favor the vision of the green spaces of the surroundings.
The plot where future social housing will be built is located within the "Illa La Sibèria", an old ice factory built at the beginning of the 20th century by industrialists Christensen and Corominas with Bernadí Martorell as architect.
The new housing complex will consist of 5 scale cores, managed by a concierge and Habitat3 experts. Tenants and the concierge can also communicate through Habitant, a digital application developed by Mediaurban. Habitant allows, among other functions, to manage community spaces, make reservations or proposals for uses in shared spaces, as well as communicate any incident. The apartments also feature a tech-pack to monitor energy consumption via the Internet of Things and to reduce the property’s environmental footprint, not to mention energy and maintenance bills. Cellnex is the chosen technological partner of the platform developed by Mediaurban.
The construction of affordable housing in the "Illa Sibèria" is a pioneering project where, for the first time, a municipal lot is tendered under a surface right regime for social rent and opens up to commercial companies for profit, because they are also jointly responsible for The generation of official protection housing. The model is included in the “delegated promotion” provided in the Plan for the Right to Housing of Barcelona 2016-2025 of the Barcelona City Council, which consists of seeking alliances with private sectors for profit or non-profit to build and manage officially protected housing in a cooperative or rental regime, without losing in any case the public ownership of the land. In particular, the Right to Housing Plan foresees that 25% of the expansion of the affordable park will be done through partnerships with the private and cooperative sector.