Student Residence with Social Ambitions

New resident hall creates a place of interaction for the university community in Barcelona

Press release  04/11/2019

The new Diagonal-Besòs Campus in Barcelona is an innovation centre where internationally acclaimed education, research and technology transfers come together. An international team, Belgium based POLO Architects, project developer LIFE and Spain based Maria Diaz Blanco Architecture, boosted the campus by designing a residence for students, teaching staff and researchers. The winning competition design strengthens the campus' position as a social centre and meeting place in the centre of the Forum district, a part of Barcelona in full development.

wide range of perspectives

The new campus has become a compact urban unit. Buildings rise up like sculptures along Ronda Litoral and brilliantly symbolise what the campus wants to be: a collection of knowledge and exchanging ideas, of education and research for students, professors and researchers, in a contemporary and open environment with a promising and sustainable vision of the future.

The structure of the residence for students, teaching staff and researchers embraces a central green patio allowing daylight to enter into all corners of the building. The patio reaches all the way down to floor -1. The inner garden provides residents with shelter from urban noise. The generous entrance is an extension of the wooden deck and opens up the building to the street side with a welcoming gesture.

POLO Architects and Maria Diaz Blanco Architecture designed a living space in which required spatial limitations were turned into qualities. An overhang on the second floor ensures a smooth alignment of the buildings along Ronda Litoral. This results in an articulated building with an imposing base. Building height limitations inspired the rooftop terrace. The structure boasts interesting cross-sections with a wide range of horizontal, vertical and diagonal perspectives.

rooftop terrace with a sea view

The building contains 191 residential units accessible through outdoor walkways around the patio doubling as balconies for the units. The strategically located sanitary facilities split the compact rooms into various spaces with a view on the central patio or a street view.

Movable solar panels on the outer facade counteract the student units' repetitive nature. White painted concrete panels alternated with aluminium accents give the building its own character that simultaneously flirts with the existing structure's textures and colours.

The project offers an outdoor swimming pool and an urban rooftop terrace with sea view. The inclusion of community functions on top of residential purposes clearly shows the social ambition of this project and turns the Diagonal-Besós campus into a compact city within a metropolis.

The residence for students, teaching staff and researchers boosts the Diagonal-Besòs Campus, improves its integration with its surroundings and turns it into a place of interaction for the university community, local residents and businesses.

Register at the bottom of this page to download high-resolution images.

download PRESS RELEASE Diagonal Besòs Student Residence

Aldo Amoretti


facebook linkedin twitter

Diagonal / Ronda Litoral, Barcelona (ES)

Surface Area

8.875 m²






MDBA Architects


winning competition design


POLO was founded in 1991 by Mauro Poponcini & Patrick Lootens. Today, The design-focused platform with expertise in urbanism, architecture, interior design & research consists of a dedicated team of 120 highly skilled professionals who work from studios in Antwerp & Brussels on assignments throughout Belgium and beyond.

A solid collective with plenty of knowledge, architectural expertise and experience. But also, and more importantly, a beautiful group of colleagues with a work ethic driven by design, creativity and reflection.

POLO is an amalgam: a creative bundle of contradictions with room for large projects (commercial, private, public) as well as (smaller) exceptions.

POLO is ready to prove itself: always, together, different. A stimulating perspective.



graphic designer
PR & communication coordinator
+32 (0)3 225 18 84

Tavernierkaai 2 box 28
B 2000 Antwerp


POLO Press reserved for journalists.
To accompany its publications, POLO provides press agencies and media with press releases and images under certain conditions. Use for any other purpose is prohibited.

POLO only uses the data to send you a digital newsletter. Your data will be treated with respect and will not be used for any other purpose.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the link at the bottom of any newsletter you receive from us or by contacting us at

More Press

Kortrijk Business Park gerealiseerd

Kortrijk Business Park gerealiseerd

monumentaal kantoorgebouw markeert kop Beneluxpark

Press release 02/02/2022
Kortrijk - Als je op de E17-autosnelweg de afrit Hoog Kortrijk neemt, zie je het gebouw al van ver opdoemen. Het verschijnt als een krachtige monoliet of een versterkte burcht. Maar hoe dichter je nadert, hoe meer de robuustheid plaats maakt voor verfijning en detail. POLO ontwierp het kantoorgebouw in opdracht van Verstraete Development.
Waasmunster leisure complex De Meermin completed

Waasmunster leisure complex De Meermin completed

newly built sports centre, cultural centre, theatre & library bring people together

Press release 25/05/2021
Waasmunster - The municipality's decision to relocate the 'De Meermin' Leisure Centre to Abdij van Roosenberglaan, in the heart of Waasmunster, is a resolute choice for a consolidated village centre. The combination of a sports and culture programme provides an excellent opportunity to bring people with various ages or from different walks of life together. The project brings about a remarkable synergy between the small-scale richness of village life and the new multifunctional programme.
Quartz offices in Brussels delivered

Quartz offices in Brussels delivered

an open house for people to work - and live

Press release 10/07/2020
The European Quarter in Brussels has a brand new office building. The new construction project Quartz, commissioned by Cofinimmo and designed by POLO Architects, has recently been delivered. VK Architects & Engineers (technology & facade engineering) and the contractor BPC, subsidiary of the CFE group, joined forces for this sustainable office project, which was given an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM certificate in its design stage. When the interior is finished, Quartz will be home to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).


A series of villas in Cabo Verde synergise local craft and contemporary design

Press release 20/06/2019
Near Mindelo, capital of the Cape Verde island of São Vicente, twelve Belgian 'Barefoot luxury' villas have just been erected in the same stone as the surrounding rocky slopes. This project turns simple and conscious living into intelligent spatial design, seamlessly combining local craftsmanship with contemporary architecture.
The Eilandje skyline permanently redrawn

The Eilandje skyline permanently redrawn

1,000 new residents for the Cadix district

Press release 14/11/2016
The first residents have moved into the new ‘Cadiz’ housing block on the Kattendijk dock. Designed by POLO Architects and META architecture office, this building, together with the adjacent neighbourhood square (yet to be realised), forms a new reference point in the redeveloped Cadix district in Antwerp.