NotM H Arquitectes: Office Building 810


[Image: model view]

Adhering to design sensibilities that should be familiar to many of you by now, our featured designers at H Arquitectes have designed an impressively ‘green’ office building in Reus, Catalunya [Spain]. Scheduled for a 2010 construction date, the 4,960 square-meter Office Building 810 goes further than simply applying ‘green’ technologies – by also addressing construction impact on the site, and the long-term future of the building and the materials used.


[Image: sketch view]

The initial program was fairly standard: office space over a commercial base, with below-grade parking underneath. Local requirements called for a specific parking number, which initially looked to require 2 levels of underground parking [and extensive excavation] – all of which led H Arquitectes to their unique concept for the project.

Rather then calling for the extensive site work needed for multiple ‘underground’ parking levels, H Arquitectes opted to leave the site mostly “as-is” – which is currently roughly 3 meters [10 feet] below street level. To achieve the parking requirement, the entire site is used – as opposed to parking below the building only. To cover the parking – and allow access to the office building in the center of the site – a metal mesh covers the site and the entire building itself, transforming the office, parking, and sidewalks into one interconnected structure.  H Arquitectes estimate that eliminating the need for excavation – and the additional structure for another underground parking level – may reduce the embodied energy of the project by 25% [based on typical construction of a similar structure].


[Image: sketch view]

The use of this metal mesh then radically transforms the project.  Turning the office into a translucent volume [which will probably appear to ‘float’ on the parking in an interesting way], the mesh serves as a shading system to protect the offices from the summer heat, while also providing indirect lighting. The mesh also allows for a naturally-lit parking level, with visual connections to the sidewalk and patios [think safety, along with aesthetics here]. Additionally, large openings are cut through the mesh covering the parking – allowing trees to be planted on the parking level, so that they can grow through to the street level. This could be an incredibly interesting pedestrian experience, with this Alhambra-like ability to interact with the canopies of these plantings.


[Image: building section]

As seen in the section [and plans / renderings below], the office itself is organized around a central atrium space – on which sit internal, communal patio spaces. This adds to the passive heating/cooling strategy, provides natural ventilation, and brings natural light into the core – bringing sunlight to all common and work spaces.


[Image: ground level plan with site]

The structure is currently conceived as a laminated timber load-bearing wall system – which will be used to transform the upper floors into a sort of large structural beam, which will free-up the ground level to allow for freedom in planning the commercial space – freeing that space of columns / structure means more flexibility in program over time.


[Image: third level plan (typ. office)]

The use of timber, rather than concrete, results in an estimated 25% reduction of CO2 emissions [based on typical construction for a project this size, of similar program]. Timber also eliminates some need for interior finishes such as paint. Additionally, the building has been designed so that it may be dismantled and recycled in an efficient manner – which, in combination with the use of sustainable harvested materials, can reduce the CO2 emissions for the building’s life-cycle by up to 60%.


[Image: entrance rendering]


[Image: courtyard rendering]

View more of H Arquitectes’ work at their website – and / or check out coverage of other selected works here at AMNP’s NotM: H Arquitectes.

More photos / drawings of this project can be seen here – including a daylighting analysis and additional model shots + renderings – on AMNP’s flickr page.

::images provided by H Arquitectes – along with any quoted text::


One Response to 'NotM H Arquitectes: Office Building 810'

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  1. This is quite interesting.. In an ideal ‘green’ world though, the concept for the project wouldn’t have to be based around acommodating large amounts of car parking space.


    16 Mar 09 at 11:15 am



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