a contemporary intervention alongside An historic gaudí


an historic cluster of religious buildings in barcelona receives a contemporary staircase extension by pich architects, defined by its intricate, lattice facade. the six structures together house a primary school, boarding school, and residences for the spanish city’s ‘teresian’ community, with the first designed and built in 1889 by the iconic architect antoni gaudí.


while the school had grown and modernized over the years, its important heritage architecture has earned it the classification as a cultural asset of national interest. with this in mind, the six structures have been appropriately preserved, and extensions have been introduced with great care.

pich architects teresianasimages © simón garcía | @simon_arqfoto



adapting the protected heritage buildings to modern life


the staircase intervention by pich architects (see more) has come at a time when the teresian school in barcelona had begun the ambitious undertaking of adapting its historic and protected structures to the demands of contemporary life. while the gaudí-designed building was to be the most protected, the organization opted to remove it from any educational programming, reserving it solely for residential use by the teresian community.


the architects continue: ‘this decision allowed the necessary actions to be dismantled and greatly reduced in order to provide the school complex with the safety requirements that an activity of this type needs. the major intervention was the construction of an evacuation staircase in one of the pavilions, which adjoined the gaudí building, ‘santa teresa pavilion’ (a building constructed in 1946, which is discreetly attached to the gaudí building).’

pich architects teresianas



the design by pich architects


the pich architects-designed staircase extension is attached to the ‘santa teresa pavilion,’ which consists of a basement, ground floor, mezzanine, and three standard floors above. the design team worked closely with the city council of barcelona to control the project’s impact, its fluidity with the existing building and its integration with the gaudí building.


after close structural analysis, the staircase extension was located alongside the central bay of the side façade, respecting the rhythm of the original structure and coinciding with the end of an interior corridor that allows access to all the classrooms and connects with a second, existing staircase inside.


the architects continue: ‘the access volume of the gaudí building and some of its lattices, its rhythms, transparency and texture are taken as a reference. the project proposes a volume and enclosure with a traditional ceramic lattice composition, with the express interest that through it the façade of the existing pavilion can be seen and the different periods of intervention can be understood. the staircase is designed with prefabricated metal elements assembled on site.’

pich architects teresianas pich architects teresianas alongside historic gaudí, pich architects wraps staircase extension in delicate latticework




project info:


project title: evacuation stairway in the protected area ‘teresianas ganduxer’

architecture: pich architects / pich-aguilera | @picharchitects

location: barcelona, spain

completion: 2022

photography: © simón garcía | @simon_arqfoto


project manager: umma
construction: reconsa
structure: angel sendarrubias. picharchitects/pich-aguilera
design team: felipe pich-aguilera. teresa batlle. ute müncheberg
site management: ute müncheberg. angel sendarrubias