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Can we come up with alternatives that actually have a positive impact on the environment in the world’s major capital cities?

These Connect is a solution that intends to do just that by boosting a buildings’ energy efficiency whilst making it more sustainable and strengthening neighbourly bonds. Designed by IED Barcelona for the Aprotecnic Group, this is the result of a collaborative project that plans to turn apartment block sunroofs, which so often go unused, into flourishing green areas.

The designers have explained that “plants produce oxygen, absorb CO2 and help prevent rooftops from overheating. We wanted to go one step further by creating a modular system that is also designed to go inside office buildings. As well as boosting the aesthetic value of a building on the whole, it helps to enhance its energy efficiency and raise people’s living standards.”

These Connect was conceived to turn empty roof terraces into useful common areas. The design consists of a base module and various accessories that can be combined to achieve different layouts and suit different needs: creating green areas, leisure areas, casual work environments and places to unwind, whilst adapting to the way each terrace is built.

Some of these accessories can be used to make hanging gardens, provide ambient lighting, build in the electrics, install soundproofing, provide shade, act as planters and other elements depending on what the user is looking for. The modules are assembled on slabs made of various materials (concrete, wood and organic surfaces) that help to enhance the space, provide thermal insulation so as to save energy and turn them into green buildings.

About the collaborative process

The Aprotecnic Group company, specialising in professional real estate consultancy, turned to IED Barcelona to develop a multidisciplinary project with the aim of renovating the roof terrace of their head office in Barcelona’s Gracia district. They were looking for a solution that combined energy efficiency, modularity and green economy while putting outdoor areas to good use.

During the initial development stage, students from the IED Diploma in Business Design explored the possibilities they could work with, followed by a second stage that saw students from the Undergraduate Courses in Product Design and Interior Design set about taking the project off paper and trying different furnishing systems. The product was brought to fruition by the IED Innovation Department in a process coordinated by Horge Pérez and student Pietro Locatelli.


Designers: Pietro Locatelli (Undergraduate Degree in Product Design), Ariel Michaeli (Undergraduate Degree in Product Design), Katrina Kalnina (Undergraduate Degree in Interior Design).

Project Leader: Horge Pérez

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