Sardine tins for the poor?: Barcelona’s shipping container homes Sardine tins for the poor?: Barcelona’s shipping container homes


Barcelona has started installing the first delivery container houses just a stone’s throw through La Rambla, the well-known thoroughfare within the city center, in a bet to provide crisis housing for those who have been evicted or otherwise powered out of the neighborhood by gentrification.

Work started last week over the 12 little apartments, that are being attached to Carrer Nou de Sant Francesc, the narrow road in the densely populated Ciutat Vella (“old city”) area.

The box scheme, that has raised eye brows in a town known for the elegant city landscape, was rejected by council with regard to fear renters would really feel stigmatised. Along with over one, 000 individuals on the crisis housing listing, however , it had been soon elevated.

The company behind the particular project will be Aprop – an acronym meaning “local provisional housing” that does mean “close by” in Catalan – that is working in combination with 3 architectural methods.

David Juárez, an builder at Straddle3, one of the procedures involved, states people have a picture of a “naff” project yet that there is absolutely nothing shabby concerning the one- plus two-bedroom houses being built.

They will be created to the same criteria as standard housing, along with good heat and audio insulation plus under-floor heating system, he says, so when the work is definitely complete they do not even become recognisable because containers.

“These container houses are built to some higher regular than a lot of what is to the rental marketplace in Barcelona, ” states the casing activist Jaime Palomera, speaker for the city’s Tenants’ Partnership. “This concept that the poor are now being forced to reside in sardine tins is rubbish. ”

Yet concerns are actually raised concerning this type of casing.

“The greatest problem with storage containers is insulating material, both heat and sound, ” states Co Govers of the Zeal Architecture exercise in Barcelona, which is a specialist in low-energy construction.

“That was the huge issue whenever they built pupil residences within the Netherlands along with containers, they were chilly and loud. You have to include massive levels of insulation, that is expensive. ” Some kinds of internal insulating material also additional reduce the filled living space.

There is criticism of the similar system in Ealing, west Greater london. The children’s commissioner pertaining to England lately criticised box flats since unsuitable plus unsafe, plus residents possess said they may be cramped, stiflingly hot within summer, plus too cold within winter.

The entire cost of the particular scheme within Barcelona is usually €940, 1000 (£840, 000). “We may deliver a flat in a year whilst a traditional creating takes 6 to 8 years to achieve completion, ” says Tonet Font from the city’s interpersonal innovation division. Work can be expected to end up being completed right at the end of Oct.

However , Govers argues that will, despite the acceleration of structure, the houses do not actually offer affordability: “If they are producing twelve flats associated with, say, typically 45 sq metres with regard to €940, 500, that’s not too cheap, ” she states. “With that will money you can build something totally new, and something that might be pretty OKAY, at that will. This noises expensive meant for temporary casing. ”

Barcelona already comes with an abysmally reduced level of community housing – 1 . 5% of the complete stock, compared to 28% within Berlin.

Local authorities rely on central federal government funding in order to finance creating projects yet have been starved of money in recent years. Presently only zero. 05% associated with GDP is placed aside designed for public casing.

Juárez states Aprop’s leading motivation would be to resist the particular tide associated with gentrification which is driving basically the most well-to-do out of the town centre since speculation plus tourist flats force upward rents plus house costs.

“Nearly all of social casing is built over the outskirts and never in the town centre, ” he says. “This is because the majority of the work on open public housing is completed by a couple of big building companies plus they are only thinking about big tasks.

“We will produce housing within much smaller vacant spaces which exist all over the town. And if we are able to do this in the neighbourhood since dense since Ciutat Vella, we can get it done anywhere. ”

Palomera states: “What’s already been happening within cities is the fact that private traders have been developing luxury houses on these websites, and what the particular council is attempting to do is usually gain several ground upon investment money and generate quality open public housing rather. ”

The particular project can be scheduled that must be taken down right after five yrs if necessary, states Juárez, “but it’s most likely that it is going to be there considerably longer and, since it meets all of the regulations, it might stay so long as any typical building”.

He could be aware of the particular criticism associated with container houses in the UK plus admits that will “building along with containers may bring terrible outcomes unless you actually make a good effort”.

Juárez says occupants has usually been good. “Those that oppose this are smaller sized in amount but they are more expressive. I think the majority is positive yet are arranging judgment till they notice what it appears like. ”

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