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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Aluminium Refinery Offices in León, Spain by Madland Estudio & Espacio Papel arquitectos

 
August 31st, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Madland Estudio & Espacio Papel arquitectos

The commission was to build the main offices of an aluminium refinery. The project responds to the need for the building to be an emblem of the company, on one hand, and a functional building with a complex and diverse program on the other. The program can be defined in four different areas: administrative zone, education area, laboratories and dressing rooms. The building is attached to the refinery on two sides, has a square floor plan and a surface of 900m2.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

  • Architects: Madland Estudio & Espacio Papel arquitectos
  • Project: Aluminium Refinery Offices
  • Location: León, Spain
  • Collaborator: Myriam López Rodero.
  • Structural Engineering: Tresca Ingeniería.
  • Owner: COREAL, Compañía Refinera de Aluminio.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

  • Contractor: Cal y Canto S.L
  • Built area: 887,55 m2
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Elena Almagro
  • Architect Team: Cristina Navas Perona, Javier García-Rivera de la Plaza (Madland Estudio). Elena Wilhelmi Casanova, Rafael Palomares Bralo, Juan Manuel Alcalde Castro (Espacio Papel).

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

The concept of the project is to create a central patio to give light to the different areas as well as to provide a protected outside space. The courtyard is 8 by 10 meters located in the center of the building, following the modulation of the steel structure. The different programmatic zones are organized around the inner patio, the circulation spaces evolve around it; they enjoy from the light, the natural ventilation and the vegetation of the courtyard. Except the dressing rooms, only allowed to the factory workers,  that are only accessible through the service corridor.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

As a concept for the design of the interior space a number of small volumes with “warm” materials contrast with the big spaces and “cold” materials typical of an industrial activity.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

Six wooden boxes are designed for six strategic places in the building: one in the entrance, the second in the access to the patio, another one serves as an archive room for the administration, a forth one to host the servidor and a double one that contains the extractor and important work material. The last box is connected to the exterior on the southeast elevation, it is the office that buys and sells aluminium.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

For the outside enclosure a double layer has been designed: a first inner brick wall and an exterior aluminium one. On the northeast elevation the two layers are two meters apart, generating a corridor connected to the main entrance. On the southeast elevation, the two skins are joined creating a ventilated facade.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

The chosen material for the outside skin is aluminium as it could not be any other way in the headquarters of an aluminium refinery. The aluminium layer will be composed of lattice frameworks. The salts are painted on their inner surface and this color reflects on the exterior façade. The visitor first sees a glare of color and then, in the entrance gallery, sees directly the colored aluminium.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

The lattice work allows the entry of light to the building, as well as it offers a good sun protection to the offices. On the southeast elevation, the windows will be protected with the aluminum frameworks while the brick parts of the façade will be cladded with aluminium plates. The patio facade will be done with big glass panes on the ground floor and with aluminium sandwich plates on the first floor.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

The client demanded very short construction time, that is the reason why at the moment the enclosure has only one skin, while the design of the second layer is being developed. The images of the aluminium lattice framework correspond with a prototype that has been built to evaluate its resistance and good maintenance.

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

Image Courtesy Elena Almagro

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