Enric Ruiz-Geli – Media-ICT – Part 1

Lecture date: 2011-03-01

00 – When the public design competition for the Media-ICT project was announced, at Cloud 9 we thought this building was in ALIGNMENT with our knowledge.

We were extremely interested in this digital city model based on ICT (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.

This project transpired after Villa Nurbs, Spek, Aviario Zoo Marino Bcn, Media-House, Forest, and other projects that involved concepts such as: digital manufacturing processes, ubiquitous technology, cloud computing, off grid, self sufficient energy, distributed intelligence …

[email protected] is an experimental district with a powerful, distributed and accessible, energy load. Part of the Districlima network, where new business values are intangible.

It is NOT based on the availability of natural resources such as water, oil, gas, sugar, silk nor do real estate values come into the equation. The companies have SOFT values such as broadcasting rights (Mediapro), patents (Indra), intelligence (T-systems), programming (Cisco) and interaction (such as Reactable by Sergi Jorda, from Universitat PompeuFabra), it is a district – in the words of Artur Serra from I2CAT and the [email protected] team– that represents a Living Lab.

And finally, in the words of the magazine Wired and Leonardo from MITPress, [email protected] is SOFT, and today SOFT is HARD.

Media-ICT’s architecture is an environment where SOFT becomes HARD. 

[email protected] is a city model where residential zones and clean new industry coexist: this program really appealed to us as its use is three-fold.

The ground floor is open-plan and has a multi-media museum, Internet awareness workshops, as well as the UOC institutes that are the fruit of this fabric; it is a place where the convention hall is a shared space.

These new companies, such as Barcelona Activa, will occupy these small offices.

The upper floors will be an incubator for young companies; they will also provide a landing space for foreign companies.

Media-ICT incubates and fosters exchange.

We felt that this should not be a public or private building or a corporate or company-oriented building, it should not be academic or businesslike, but it should be a hybrid program

Experts call this type of model GGG – Global Green Growth.

This is a large building based on the idea of sharing, where all the green spaces are shared. Before, one way or another, you had to have those spaces available, now you can share them, the building has some 15% dedicated to shared spaces.

(see Floor Plans)

This is a distinct possibility in this city, where the urban experimentation of compact density as conveyed by Oriol Clos, the head architect.

03-Media-ICT is a Parametric Design application

As architects of parametric architecture, what should we do?.

We think in terms of modules: the structure is a 5 m x 14.7 m module; false roofs are 30 cm modules; raised floors are 50 cm modules; everything is connected and related: the 150 cm glass façade module is joined to the floor, to the module, with the 150 cm fluorescent module, the 300 cm radius façade sensors and so on and so forth.

We have studied the program for the building and its possible floor plans using Autocad software linked to Excel and a script programmed in Cloud 9.

In this way we optimise:> 36 m evacuation distances in case of fire.> the maximum area of the program with natural lighting, X.> the flexibility of floor distribution, 7,26.> the ratio of m2 distributed with regard to constructed m2.

For example, we study the minimum impact of the vertical communication cores in terms of the m2 of the distributed program (such cores are generally between 18-20% of the total surface area).

This is a building with a low ratio; we stand at 8%, which means that there is 10% available and you have more meters to be used by the people (almost 2.000 m2), which is just like gaining a floor.

You enter the data and Excel constructs the building.

At the end, it is Excel that creates this extremely dense information byte that includes everything.

The result is a very COMPACT, very dense and very efficient element. Media-ICT is NOT a CUBE but an information BYTE: 40x40x40m.

References: Ford Foundation in New York, by Kevin Roche

(see diagrams)


We presented the project to the Quality Committee of Barcelona City Council and one of their questions was: “Architecture is often connected to certain physical, vegetable and animal states. If this is the case, what animal does this architectural structure represent? It was an interesting question…

Naturally, the jellyfish came to mind, as it is an organism, a system,



Save This Post

No account yet? Register