Urban villa
Calle Bach Apartments
José Antonio Coderch + Manual Valls Vergés | Barcelona, Spain | 1958
Image of Calle Bach...
Street facade

ProjectCalle Bach Apartments
ArchitectJosé Antonio Coderch + Manual Valls Vergés
AddressCalle J.S. Bach 7
Building TypeUrban villa
Number of Dwellings12
Date Built1958
Dwelling Types4 BR flats
No. Floors7
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
brick, glass, wood
Construction TypeRC frame
Ancillary Services

This 7-story infill slab on one of the exclusive residential streets of the city is representative of the early work of Coderch and Valles. Although the views suggest a perimeter block organization along the street, the building is actually one of a series of palazzine that face the street while enclosing small side gardens between buildings. The symmetrical plan organization is apparent on the street façade. The horizontal lines of the exposed edge of the slab express the structural frame. The alternating infill materials, brick and glass, might have resulted in a rather haphazard façade but for the louver system which extends vertically between the edges of each slab and which completely covers the windows and balconies. This louver system is, in effect a second, adjustable screen that can control the sun, allow for ventilation, is adjustable for privacy. Only the oblique surfaces of the diagonal balconies off the living rooms are left without louvers. The extensive use of wood louvers to screen windows and enclose balconies is a reoccurring theme in the early work of Coderch that can be seen in the early houses of the 1950’s and especially the Casa de la Marina apartments built in the Barcelonetta in 1954. The layered, concave quality that results from the application of the louvers is also similar to the Astrea apartments in Rome by Luigi Moretti, 1949, where symmetrical diagonal elements are used as a device to imply a concave surface and enliven an otherwise planer surface. The apartments are enormous, with large living and dining rooms, vestibule, 2 large baths for the four bedrooms and separate maids quarters. The two dwellings back up to a common zone of services with living and dining spaces opening to louvered balconies facing the street with bedrooms facing the side garden. Entrance is along the very planer brick façade on the side of the building.

Coderch, J.A., , Xarait Ediciones, Madrid, 1978, pp. 56-59.

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