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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.

County Council in Zamora, Spain by G+F Arquitectos

 
May 22nd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: G+F Arquitectos

Not only should the new Council offices meet the determined requirements of use, but it also should help define one of the most compromising environments of the city, as Vitiato square- where the building is located- is a compulsory stop in the touristic tour around Zamora. The proposal designs the fourth façade of the square, completing the architectonic complex formed by the Encarnación Hospital to the North and the Ramos Carrion Theatre and the Condes de Alba y Aliste Palace to the South.

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera 

  • Architects: G+F Arquitectos
  • Project: County Council
  • Location: Viriato Square, Zamora, Spain
  • Photography: Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera
  • Team members: María Antonia Fernández Nieto, Pilar Peña Tarancón, Jesús García Herrero, Inés Patiño Meijide, Gonzalo Bárcenas Medina, Jesús Hernández Alonso, Francisco Martín Gil
  • Structural design: José María García del Monte
  • Systems design: Jorge Gallego Sánchez-Torija
  • Client: County Council of Zamora
  • Gross useable floor space: 2.803mq
  • Lot size: 636 mq
  • Start of work: 8th February, 2008
  • Completion of work: January 3rd, 2011
  • Builder: UTE CYN-YAÑEZ/ REARASA
  • Structure in: concrete
  • Floor: vinyl except for ground floor in limestone from Campaspero
  • Walls surfaces: Sandstone from Zamora

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

The new office building is organized around a patio that allows to:

  • Duplicate the rooms with a North-South façade and reduce the blind areas.
  • Gain diagonal views to the square and its environment so that they become part of the inner life of the building, its tours and its relax.
  • Generate an external wall image of the building, continuing the aesthetics of the square without losing any light requirements for the interior spaces.

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

The exterior walls, both to the street and of the patio, are covered in sandstone from Zamora, the same material traditionally used in the historic buildings of the city. This stone is used in a trans-ventilated façade that, far from hiding its constructive system, shows its nature and the steel fastenings. For the lower base long pieces were used in order to recover the wall language of the area. The flat roof was also covered in stone becoming another façade.

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

There are two kinds of window holes. On the one hand, to provide with enough light the interior spaces, big glass surfaces are opened only to the patio. On the other hand, in the walls facing the square and surrounding streets vertical windows are used, so that the wall image is preserved. However, the building avoids enclosing itself to the patio thanks to a deep hole opened in the main façade that allows views and contact with Viriato square. This area can be accessed from the offices in the first floor and can be used as representative balcony for public activities of the Council.

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

The section of the patio enlarges as the building raises, so sunlight is guaranteed in all rooms opened to it. Also, two different floor levels are set on the ground and first floors, aiming to avoid views at the same level across the patio and giving independence to the different working spaces.

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

The patio is design with sandstone walls, hedges and evergreen climbing plants that will remain green all year long. Dominating the scene stands a populus alba (white poplar). Given its thin high shape, it can be seen from all floors, and, as it is a deciduous tree, its image will change through the seasons, protecting from direct sun in summer but  allowing it in wintertime.

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

Neutral vinyl materials are used in the interior to out stand the contrast between the opaque character of the façade and the opening of the patio and to reinforce the personality of the local stone. The interior perimeter is covered in cupboards with shelves that will become living archives for the workers and will host all necessary supplies for their daily work. Therefore, the openings of the windows will be enhanced as they get deeper and remind of arrow holes facing the street.

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

Image Courtesy © Miguel de Guzmán, Joaquín Mosquera

Image courtesy G+F Arquitectos

Image courtesy G+F Arquitectos

Image courtesy G+F Arquitectos

Image courtesy G+F Arquitectos

Image courtesy G+F Arquitectos

Image courtesy G+F Arquitectos

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Category: Offices

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