Vita Student Pedralbes: An architectural landmark

Elena Cabezas Alba
14.09.23 – 04 Mins Read

In a city marked by the legacy of the architect Antoni Gaudí and his modernist buildings, Barcelona’s architecture has merged the old and new to create a colourful, harmonious, and unique city.

So it was only right that Vita Student Pedralbes, our first student accommodation in Spain, was in line with this. This building houses 275 students from all over the world but is much more than just a place to live.

The prestigious Batlleiroig architectural studio was chosen to design Vita Student Pedralbes. In line with other Batlleiroig projects, the design of Vita Student Pedralbes was an innovative proposal, committed to the re-naturalisation of the city, the regeneration of the landscape and the creation of a healthy space.

In this article, we explain what makes this residence building so special.

Space and nature are the two muses for this building’s design. But Vita Student Pedralbes stands out not only for how it looks, but also for its functionality. The use of materials, the interaction between light and space, cultural and historical integration, and its impact on the community are some of the building’s real highlights. It’s for these reasons that Vita Student Pedralbes was named as a finalist in the Housing category of the World Architecture Festival WAF 2023 awards, which will be announced in Singapore in the coming months.

Along with 100 iconic buildings in Barcelona like Arc de Triomf and Güell Pavilions, we opened our doors to almost 200 people to showcase the best of Barcelona’s architecture.


Vita Student Pedralbes is located in a privileged setting, at the foot of the Collserola mountain range, surrounded by green spaces.  

The façade is the first thing to catch your attention. It is simple but has an unmatched quality. The colour blends seamlessly with the outdoor space, fully integrating into its surroundings.

The side directly facing the street is more protected, combining opaque areas with hollow areas where the balconies of the rooms are located. On the other side, the exteriors of the building that are more exposed to the sun and those facing the interior garden are lighter, with terraces and vegetation that provide solar protection while allowing more direct contact with the exterior spaces and contact with nature.

In this way, all the rooms have views of exterior spaces, ensuring that students get a hint of nature in whichever room they’re staying in.

Our favourite area, however, is the large garden inside the plot, where there is a swimming pool, an outdoor amphitheatre, sitting areas, and spaces that allow students to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities. Creating a space for students to make friends, relax, and thrive is what we do.

When entering the building from Avinguda Esplugues, through an open-plan lobby, you can instantly see the garden. The same lobby connects to a large communal area on the lower level, lit by a large skylight that floods the building with beautiful natural light.

It is in this space where the communal areas are located, such as study rooms, games rooms, communal dining rooms, living areas, and a gym. On the roof of the building is the rooftop, another communal and meeting area, with exceptional views of the city of Barcelona. All these outdoor spaces take on special relevance with the Mediterranean climate and culture and make Vita Student Pedralbes very special.


The building has been designed under strict parameters of sustainability and energy savings. In short, this building consumes 85% less energy than a building that strictly complies with the regulations – we wanted to do more. In addition, renewable sources of energy production have been incorporated: photovoltaic solar panels, with an annual production of 42 MW per year, as well as solar thermal panels to produce hot water, which covers 70% of the building’s demand.

At the same time, Vita Student Pedralbes manages water responsibly, with the introduction of efficient equipment, native vegetation with low water needs and reusing 100% of rainwater. Rainwater from the roofs of the building is used to irrigate all the green areas and rainwater from the exterior urbanisation is infiltrated into the land itself. With these measures, water consumption and discharge into the sewage system is reduced to a minimum.

Not only that, but the building promotes sustainable mobility, with spaces for bicycle storage and attractive open staircases that connect the common areas and promote healthy indoor routes.

The building is BREEAM Sustainable Construction certified.


This exclusive area of Barcelona is characterised by its tree-lined streets, with very little noise.

There is an atmosphere of exclusivity here, enhanced by public places such as Cervantes Park and the Pedralbes Gardens. The Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes, which dates back to the 14th century, is also located here. The area is very close to the university area and has easy access to the mountains and the city centre.

Located north of the Diagonal, residents of Pedralbes enjoy the tranquillity of the area without having to compromise on the perks of living in a big city like Barcelona.

According to the European Environment Agency, this is the area with the least pollution in the city and the best air quality, as well as the safest.

In short, if you want to live in a vibrant city like Barcelona without giving up contact with nature, Vita Student Pedralbes is the place for you. Discover the Vita Student experience in Barcelona here.