Castellano English

A competition for a corporate office building posed a challenge to fit an ambitious program into a complex site on a street corner at Marin, Pontevedra. Planning law was reinterpreted to propose an atrium accessible from the street instead of an alley to separate adjoining buildings. This resulted in a public space for exhibitions at ground level and a social focal point for the offices above. The ground floor gallery acts as the foyer to a conference room and a museum, and rises gently towards a cafeteria that fosters interaction. The atrium houses a staircase linking all levels that enables the visitor to comprehend the building in a way that is not possible in a conventional office. It provides natural light deep in the office open plan, stimulates interaction between floors and creates a stack effect through its glazed roof that favours natural cross ventilation. The four corporate floors are linked by aerial walkways to the lift core, which makes use of an irregular triangular edge of the site. On the fifth level a roof garden improves insulation, collects rainwater and provides leisure space. The office planning grid (1.5 m) is fully integrated with the structure and services to provide maximum flexibility and efficiency, and the façades are modulated to respond to their solar loads with the main elevation facing North and the available sea views. The design succeeds on the creation of a properly integrated, fully democratic workplace and demonstrates that architecture can be produced from a commercial brief by the exercise of ingenuity and imagination.

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