Water, and lack thereof, has always been a defining characteristic of Barcelona life. Just a few blocks from the recently regenerated Besòs river and 3km from the Mediterranean Sea, PERMEATE situates itself physically and systematically within the complex city-wide networks of water systems and organisms.


The Mediterranean appetite for fish creates high demand for sustainable fish farming. A Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) helps to conserve water and limit wastewater in the massive fish tanks. A site-wide aquaponics scheme involves the exchange of nutrient-rich water between its aquaculture (industrial farm farm) and hydroponic (greenhouse) elements. While the upper plaza and roof spaces maximize the greenhouse’s exposure to natural light, the more publicly accessible ground floors are home to the industrial fish farm and related programs: aquaculture training and workshops, a fish market, experimental aquaponic spaces, and more.

Rainwater is collected from every roof surface and apartment balcony, filtered, and stored in the public pool in the gym space.

All domestic greywater is captured and, together with pool wastewater, is filtered (in part) by secondary (vertical and horizontal) natural greywater filtration areas on the roof. This water is then used to flush all toilets and to water the surrounding landscape.




PERMEATE is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities in 2020 by:
Students: Rebecca Baierwick & Paulina Sevilla
Faculty: Javier García-Germán, Miquel Rodriquez, Guillermo Sevillano, Elena Orte, et. al.