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::


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