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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.

SEPE offices in San Sebastián, Spain by COLL‐BARREU ARQUITECTOS

July 26th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal


San Sebastian is a lively city. It is the city of fusions. Its landscape is at the same time stony and marine, and its light is the white light of the haze and the bright light of Southern Europe. The Comb of the Winds by Chillida and the beautiful classical composure of the city express equally ambivalence.

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

  • Architects: COLL‐BARREU ARQUITECTOS  (Juan Coll-Barreu, Daniel Gutiérrez Zarza)
  • Project: SEPE offices
  • Location: San Sebastián, Spain
  • Photography:Aleix Bagué
  • Client: Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social Ministry of Employment and Social Mathers
  • Collaborators: Cesar Peña, Asier Zarrazkin
  • Area: 2.284,78 m2
  • Budget: 1.836.168,25 €
  • Date of project: 2010 ‐ 2011
  • Construction date: 2011 ‐ 2014

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

The international and film vocation shows that Donostia/San Sebastian is able to convert this union of lights and landscapes in a whole magical parallel world.

The ground and first floor of a residential building in a neighbourhood recently created must be reformed to locate the

offices of SPEE, the Spanish public service of employment support.

The project attends to express and take advantage of that multiple nature of light.

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

A central vertical space is filled with white light reflecting panels to bathe the heart of the offices with pure, clean and

dense light. A transparent skylight over the white planes allows to understand the interior of the block and to value the terraces and the domestic presences of the dwellings that occupy the top floors of the block.

The perimeter reinforces the presence of natural light with a blue glass facade mounted on a black steel structure.

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

Image Courtesy © Aleix Bagué

Perforated wood panels filter the incoming light and protect the offices of the dominance of views from outside. The façade is the heterogeneous light of San Sebastian landscape.

The natural changing light is not surprising but familiar. Guide circulations and draw places of stay or relationship. It also gives the public dimension that requires the institution: it makes the place a space for everyone.



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