R&D+i Headquarters for Local Sustainability
A Building for the control and sustainable management of water cycle in Extremadura.
Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
Trajectory and projectile
A trajectory is a continuous line, consistent with itself in each of its points. With different geometries, guidelines and tangents, but ruled by laws, flexible yet consistent. In addition, path involves a mobile object, a projectile. Projectile is, etymologically, which is thrown forward. These definitions could be metaphors for our architecture.
The role of the architect is, specifically, to provide value to this time, by introducing such an universe of acts of consciousness inhabit, occupying the spaces. It happens then that time takes relief, becomes rugged, pleasantly rough, calculatedly rugged. That time, no longer anonymous and unknown, slides full of qualities, slashing people. This new, reformulated, time has so many qualities that it would be needed time to perceive them. And that's when time seems to pass more slowly, importance and wealth.
Borrowing Utzon´s words: "This should be our starting point: move unconscious reactions to consciousness. Cultivating our ability to perceive these conditions and their influence on us, being in contact with the environment, the way to find the essence of architecture. (...) It is necessary to have a healthy outlook on life. Understand the concept of what sig ¬ nifica walk, sit and lie down comfortably, enjoy the sun, the shade, the water against the body, the earth and all the sensations minors. Welfare should be the basis of the architecture, if you will achieve harmony between the space created and what it will develop. It is simple and very reasonable".
The simple act of sitting outside, al fresco, barefoot stepping on a stone slab, should be highlighted and, in the words of Federico Soriano mimicking another Federico, García Lorca, give "right of architecture." Right to be introduced to the world of realization and consciousness.
The decision to structure the project through the relationships between uses (operational area, representative area, policy area) rather than through a pristine form or dilation of the random alignment of the plot, reminds both the dedication to Aldo van Eyck from Tristan Tzara, poet whom Adolf Loos had built his home in Paris: L'oeuil toujours neuf au retour des choses, as sketches of Le Corbusier's Ville Radieuse in which the mythological city was structured so as seemingly naive a human body, with the head business center and transport and communications in the stomach of the city. The Headquarters for R&D+i of Local Sustainability looks and looks itself, is built with the city and the place where it is strictly implanted, yes, but also, and simultaneously, with light, space and the idea.
Another master… Francisco Javier Sainz de Oiza said “the architecture involves the man in the same way that man wear his suit according to his living (...) If it rains, opens the umbrella.., if it's cold, put on a coat...Changing of clothing, such as changes architecture adapting itself to the development of its useful life.
The building give a flexible answer to place and to its scale. Three pieces of different heights respond to the multiple situations surrounding: high residential housing blocks with two floors and a large urban facilities. These pieces, made of black-dyed hurdle textured concrete, open to the best guidance through glass facades screened by metal brise-soleil, which are both parasol and structure, the exoskeleton of the building. These three dense pieces, offices, laboratories and public hall, are joined by a large garden and a covered foyer, which acts as a place that reconciles uses, flows and routes. This foyer, in clear opening to the garden, allowes passage through the building without altering its uses, as a great element to urban interface. In that space, large format screens report the energy savings of the building and water facilities, water treatment and sewage plants, managed: to report is to raise awareness.
The building is self-sufficient from an energetic point of view. It works with radiant floor (warming/cooling) using rainwater fed by a system of solar collectors that work in Winter generating heat by potential difference and in summer generating cold by evaporation. This system is complemented by continuous movement of natural air (free cooling) through the courtyards and Trombe walls. The obtained energy efficiency rating is the maximum (A) according to the regulations. The certificate recognizes the quality of the facilities energy HVAC and construction characteristics of the building, to optimize consumption, use renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions.
The concept of sustainability arises in a negative way as a result of the analysis of the world situation that can be described as a planetary emergency (Bybee, 1991), as an untenable situation that seriously threatens the future of humanity. The report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, known as the Brundtland Report is clear on this point. Originally called Our Common Future, it was used for the first time in 1987, defined the term sustainable development as development that meets present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. This building , its cosmopolitan and austere image, the joint spaces through a complex, transgressive and committed glance, the use of light, both universal and local, glocal, aims to provide a place of hope and intellectual rigor to this picture uncertain. An space full of architecture and future.