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.
Yute’s Warehouse in Barcelona, Spain by Flores Prats Arquitectos
March 13th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Flores Prats Arquitectos
The YUTE’S project is an extension of an existing textile warehouse. The two young clients had bought an old offices building with some storage at its side, and after a few years of use they started to miss storage area, so they though in enlarging it. The original building didn’t have much quality from the architectural point of view, but from the beginning we thought that was better to keep as much as possible of the existing and growing from that, instead of demolishing all and start a new building.
The project extends the spread of the existing building above, and wraps it in metal skins of colour which refer to the drapes of coloured fabric that they make and sell in the company. The first decision in using the corrugated iron was about lightness and construction time. The corrugated iron has several advantages: flexible to use, the several different colours that one could choose, and that it is something prefabricated as well. It also has its roots in industry.
There is also the relation with the textile pieces: the similar dimension of both elements, the sizes of the metal pieces similar to the length of the textile rolls… They both need a structure of support, they could raise like an end of a skirt (the canopies in the front façade), it could turn and show the seams (the west façade were the clients enter)… The effect of this empty construction in the centre gets finally affected by its perimeter, by its limits, and this has the same logic than designing a costume, a dress: to wrap a body that is not there, by re-profiling its borders…
The warehouse is located in an industrial area close to Barcelona called Sant Just. The building raises in the corner, and that kind of folding and compressing condenses the tension that hides behind itself: the goods lift and the climbing to the roof terrace to play football in the breaks, and it greets you from the distance, when you arrive driving from the highway. It’s the point when the homogeneity of the whole building gets interrupted, giving a sense of intensity, a concentration of the energy of the rest of the facades.
To decide to build this enormous façade is also a way of referring to the whole site, to that landscape that was already there: a series of enormous buildings with a subdued tone, mostly dominated by concrete, all hiding big volumes of air… so in a way this big façade is trying to add itself to this kind of topography.
But this image of unfinished, of fragmentation is what we thought would express better our intention of summing-up the several phases of this building. The intention was to leave it opened, making visible the several units that conform this construction: initial ceramic walls, concrete prefabricated structure, metallic structure, corrugated iron closure… So the final dressing is open, more similar to the logic of a costume than to a closed box.
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