La Borda: is a self-
organized housing project that is resident centric
and has a strong environmental quality.

La Borda is a housing cooperative, which ensures long term affordable renting prices. Residents have the status of cooperative partners and can live there for life. La Borda sets an example for democratic and sustainable housing projects to combat speculations. The collective and participatory manner is the most distinctive feature of the project and visible in many respects: residents were included in the participatory planning process from the beginning and nowadays various working groups shape the project according to their needs. Likewise, the architecture is designed for the people and inspired by the Corralas from southern spain. Apartments and common areas revolve around a central courtyard, which is covered by a vaulted glass roof and functions as a social interaction space and climate buffer. The basic structure of an apartment is 50 m2 and can be expanded with one or two models due to lightweight wooden constructions. The modular structure allows it to change for the sake of changing inhabitant’s needs. By collectivizing some facilities and services like laundry, bathrooms and guest rooms, the sustainable orientation of the project becomes evident. The general target was to reduce the building’s environmental impact and establish passive strategies. Such as by maximizing the south-facing units, optimal solar shading in each orientation, the possibility of cross-ventilation in each unit, a centralized biomass boiler, the compactness of the building in winter and openness in summer through dynamic openings of the central atrium.

View of the atrium from the building La Borda in Barcelona
The atrium as a place of encounter © Lluc Miralles

General information

OwnerLa Borda
AddressCarrer de la Constitució, 85, 08014 Barcelona, Spain
Construction period2017 – 2018
Constructiontimber construction (glulam timber)
Space3000 m², 28 housing units


Floornature (2019): Cooperativa d’arquitectes Lacol: La Borda, Barcelona. Retrieved from (03.10.2021)

La Borda (2016): Architectural project. Retrieved from (03.10.2021)

Lacol (n.y.): La Borda habitatge cooperatiu. Retrieved from (03.10.2021)

UrbanNext (2021): La Borda Housing Cooperative: Self-management, Collective Property, Sustainability, and Affordability. Actar Publishers. Retrieved from (03.10.2021)