The plan for the new Hispasat headquarters derives from the complete re-design of an existing building making use solely of the structure. The building, dating from the late 1970s is unique in having a circular layout and originally having its enclosure a long way from any sustainable criteria.
The commission proposes a contemporary internal layout underpinned by the requirement for the maximum comfort based upon the choice of materials and their range of colours, the need for transparency and visibility and its fitting with furnishings which match the architecture. In this sense, 60 x 60 cm modular flooring, 120 x 120 cm suspended, accoustic and metallic ceilings, glazed, 120 cm modular, aluminium partition walls with coloured butyrals, 30, 60 and 90 cm cupboards and cabinets, etc. comprise an integrated system of equations which resolve all cases without any need to have resort to any special or precise solutions. The result is that of a continuous space in which both floors and ceilings are perceived as one due to the pairing of transparent strips in the enclosure where they meet the horizontal plane while the opaqueness and translucence of the intermediate strip assures sufficient privacy and concentration for personnel at their work stations.
Without a doubt the most outstanding aspect of the project is the façade which was conceived with the triple objective of providing a new company image, controlling the sun´s radiation and getting certain views framed while offering added value in the fields of safety and maintenance. There follows a brief explanation of these aspects:
The image of the company which is involved in the management of communications satelites has been taken as a creative challenge which has concentrated all the efforts of the design team in finding a delicate and evanescent outline which evokes a spacial reminiscence in which an outer skin of aluminium plates with a lacquered finish in three similar colours result in a variable vibration derived from climatological effects, natural light, clouds, the setting of the sun, etc. From the exterior the building appears as an enigmatic and sensitive structure which appears on the landscape and contrasts chromatically with it. By night the artificial light from the exterior together with that which filters through the triangular latticework accentuates the effect of the installation which is in constant dialogue with nature. From inside the perception through the latticework creates a reassessment of the landscape which, once assimilated by the mind, is manipulated by the geometric illusion which in turn allows the manipulation of the views across its less pleasing aspects of the landscape sorroundings. From the work space the effect is of a façade which sifts the light and results in a calm and intimate perception by offering two distinct planes, that of the interior surface itself – the latticework of the façade and the landscape itself through which it is seen. On the other hand, the extension of the latticework to a considerable height above the cornice of the building assures a calming view of the roof structure as well as modifying proportions to the volume through a more balanced silhouette which floats suspended thanks to the fact that it does not touch the floor from which it is separated by an inlaid skirting of dark grey.
From the point of view of its environmental comportment, the latticework comprises three different levels of density which sweep through the solar spectrum with varying solar rays. The fact that this latticework which is one metre away from the building produces a shaded and ventilated interior which ensures the reduction of gains and losses together with the virtual shade formed by the maintenance accesses which doubly protect the exposed glass.
Safety and maintenance are based upon the provision of a series of walkways which make full use of the cantilevered structures necessary for the mounting of the latticework. These access ways permit the maintenance of the curtain wall from the exterior without the need for external workers having to have access to the building; their use as emergency and evacuation routes assure the maintenance of the latticework and its structural elements for the prevention of the process of oxidation or deterioration together with replacement work, the rectification of the practicable cavities, the servicing of the motors for the latticework, etc.