NotM H Arquitectes: School Gym 704


[Image: View from Court]

The building is perceived by the user in different ways, from the access ramp [it] appears almost like a  wall or a silhouette, only at night [do] you come to realize [the] real condition of [the] building. When you turn the  corner and have a wider perspective, then you notice its actual volume, how [its accessed] and the  complexity of the successive layers of materials that make it up.

Today AMNP is happy to be the first site to feature the recently completed “Gym 704” project by our featured Ninjas of the Month H Arquitectes. Commissioned by the Barberà del Vallès city council, H Arquitectes were asked to design a gymnasium with locker rooms and an outdoor track for the children’s education center [called “El Bosc”].

Given a narrow site, the gym design had to consider the existing track and outdoor athletic area – along with the main access ramp to the school itself. In addition, H Arquitectes made their usual effort [see their other work on AMNP] to reduce any impact on the site itself [which is interesting to see, on a site that has already been built upon], in particular so as to minimize any effects construction may have had on the functioning of the school itself.


[Image: Ramp to gym/school from road]

The newly inserted volume of the gym is pushed all the way against the existing ramp leading to the school – so as to leave as much space as possible for the outdoor area, while not casting a shadow on the track. Pushing the Northern wall of the gym up against the existing ramp also serves to further define that space, which acts as an entry to the site / school – both improving the scale of the walkway/ramp and creating that glowing wall to draw students/visitors up and into the facility.


[Image: Ramp to gym/school from road]

As ‘green’, or simply intelligent, design is important to H Arquitectes, they searched for a structural system and materials with low embodied energy – leading them to use wood as both the principal structural element as well as the interior finish material.

The benefits of the laminated timber board LVL Kerto-type, have allowed us to design an structure  taking “Balloon-frame” as a model. The same material (Kerto) is used as a light linear element to make  up the arcades (1,20mt. separated each one ,and 10 mt. wide) as well as it is used as a panel for the interior enclosure, walls and ceiling, in order to steady the structure from horizontal forces. Numerical control machines make possible a high degree of accuracy and prefabrication, both portico and interior stabilizing elements. Kerto laminated timber panel LVL used as interior enclosure assumes three functions: it steadies the structure, ensures fire protection to the arcades and behaves as thermal insulation.


[Image: Entry to Gym and Court]

The exterior of the building is then clad in a multi-cellular polycarbonate panel system fixed to galvanized steel battens which are fastened to the wooden structure. This transparent ‘skin’ allows the wooden structure beneath to be seen from the outside, while at the same time protects the wood itself. The only portion of the building not treated in this manner is the ‘porch’/entry area, which visually marks it as a point of interest on the facade.


[Image: View from Court]

This use of transparent polycarbonate cladding serves as much more than a simple aesthetic exercise to reveal the wood – it also allows for passive heating of the gym space in the winter.

In the south-faced façade, the waterproof feature of transparent polycarbonate is in addition to its  capacity to create a greenhouse effect that enables us to heat the common room in winter due to the  overheated air from the ventilated façade.   To plant a deciduous climbing vineyard and, in the other hand, the interior enclosure, will let us control the greenhouse effect during the summer. The polycarbonate of the north facade works as a skylight that illuminates with constant natural light the different areas of the building.

The final texture you see on the facade is a metal mesh, used in response to the city’s request for some protection against vandalism – both adding to the layering effect of the volume’s materials, and providing a climbing surface for the deciduous vines planted on the southern facade.


[Image: Gym Interior]

While simple, the interior of the gym’s plywood finish creates a warm and open space – especially during the day, when the gym is illuminated [as previously mentioned] by the large band of windows running along the Northern facade [seen illuminated, above].


[Image: Plan]

View more of H Arquitectes’ work at their website – and be sure to head back to AMNP next Monday for the following installment of NotM: H Arquitectes.

::the projects featured in this post were selected and images provided by H Arquitectes – along with any quoted text::

::photo credit – Adrià Goulai::

More images, after the jump


[Image: Southern Facade]


[Image: Construction Progress]


[Image: Gym Interior, Northern Wall]


[Image: Overall Site Plan]


[Image: Section]


[Image: Section]

Posted: January 29th, 2009
at 1:45am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,green arch,featured ninjas,Ninjas of the Month

Comments: 3 comments


3 Responses to 'NotM H Arquitectes: School Gym 704'

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  1. Wow, this gave me a strange feeling of deja vu… It’s nice and all, but it’s scaringly similar to Dorte Mandrup’s PRISMEN in Copenhagen…

    Turd Ferguson

    31 Jan 09 at 7:28 pm


  2. **Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I am writing to you from the Spanish architectural magazine /PASAJES DE ARQUITECTURA Y CRITICA /(Passages of Architecture and Critique). /PASAJES/ is the only architectural magazine distributed on a monthly basis in Spain. It is also currently the bestselling architectural magazine in Spain. /PASAJES/ is not only widely distributed in Spain, but also in Portugal and Latin America. A normal issue consists of 48 full-colour pages of 269×354 mm size (a bit smaller than A3), and has several sections: News, Building Analysis, Interviews, Brief Essays, Trips, Exhibitions and Books.

    We are planning the next Pasajes, which is number 105, and it is going to be a recompilation of the state of contemporary architecture and I am writing to express /Pasajes’/ interest in publishing:

    NotM H Arquitectes’ School Gym 704

    Should you agree to let us publish the projects we would need:
    – photographs in tiff format, 250 ppp, 30 cm width, of the constructing process and of the finished building.
    – plans (floor plans, sections, elevations,drawwings about your proyects,scketches…) in EPS format,
    – a short explanation of the projects
    – and technical data (authors, collaborators,…)

    Thank you very much for your time and I´ll be looking forward to receive your reply soon because is urgent and your work will have so much importance in this issue,

    Kind regards,
    Luis Rodríguez

    redactor pasajes
    Avda. de Ramon y Cajal, 60. 28016 Madrid
    Phone: 34 91 416 00 54


    3 Feb 09 at 5:19 am


  3. I just located out that reading this page is far more pleasant on an iPad than on my iPhone. duh. lol. Anyway, you challenged me with this post. Thanks.


    7 Oct 11 at 8:54 pm



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