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.
VITORIA-GASTEIZ CITY COUNCIL OFFICES in Bilbao, Spain by IDOM
April 9th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: IDOM
One of the matters that most damages the perception that the citizens have of the local administration is the penitential itinerary, which forces them to go from one office to another in order for them to fulfil their obligations with the different municipal departments. This is exactly what the Vitoria-Gasteiz Council wanted to do away with by concentrating all the services that deal with citizens’ affair in one single building.
The starting point being the unique character of such a facility, with an important significance for the citizenship, we thought it necessary to set ourselves apart from the residential urban mesh alignment and in doing so, establishing the formal strategy of the project. We pursued a certain urban link with the foundational mesh in the old quarters, the mediaeval core. On the north face, the building has a pronounced curve that generates a continuous and smooth volume, which confronts the orthogonal layout of the city, separating itself from it and claiming its institutional character. Towards the south, continuity is interrupted by more complex volumes which generate the main entrance for the public at the same time that it seeks a connection with the new San Martin Square.
The exclusive purpose of the building is for the carrying out of technical municipal activity, sheltering a workforce of 540, distributed into different departments located up until now, in different buildings. One of the functional aspirations is to promote the citizen-administration relationship. Therefore, the customer care department is located in a great central area, illuminated by zenithal skylights, which as if it was a grand living room, takes in, informs and guides the visitor.
Each floor is generated by a longitudinal space which is vertically communicated with the rest of the building by means of three equidistant cores. This space is adapted according to the planning to the different department layouts, conceived mainly as a landscape office, with all its workstations associated to the façade-long window. Between the vertical cores as if they were a backbone, the service areas are located: toilets, archives and technical rooms. A single floor add-on has also been generated, towards the south. It houses training rooms and an assembly hall, and it can be accessed from the outside. This extension configures a better defined outdoor space to access the building at the same time that it makes approaching the building a more agreeable experience thanks to its short height.
The search for visual and lighting comfort has been a key project principle. Thorough design work has been carried out in order to alleviate direct sunlight in working areas, therefore also avoiding thermal loads that would affect energy consumption. This solar protection is carried out by two systems: on the one hand, horizontal projections and on the other, perforated metal vertical panels. This solar protection is at the same time what generates its final image, offering a rich light and dark composition that identifies and singles out the building from its surroundings.
The building also includes a good number of passive and active sustainability and energy saving measures, such as geotechnics, solar energy, projections and slates, which have earned the building a class A energy label, in keeping with the “Green Capital” title which the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz recently held.
“JesúsArmendarizEguillor, born in Pamplona (Spain). Architect by the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra. Since joining IDOM, mainly has developed functions as Architectural Designer and as Project Drafter – civic buildings, tertiary buildings, etc.-. Since its first projects he has devoted special attention to research and development of industrial nature projects, addressing the needs of a demanding technical client, since both multidisciplinary and architectural vision.For a while now, he is participating in this type of projects in countries as diverse as Colombia, Germany or Saudi Arabia.Due to his professional career, he has also specialized in Congress Buildings and in Music & Scenic Arts Buildings. Steadily he has taken part in different types of projects and has also achieved recognition in several architectural competitions.”
César Azcárate, IDOM, Spain
Cesar Azcarate an architect from the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra in 1990 and Doctor of Architecture from the same university in 2008. Caesar is a member Idom Partner, an international firm of Architecture, Engineering and Consulting experience in projects around of the world. César complements his professional work with teaching Project in the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra since 1991. He has taught and lectured at several universities and videos professionals and their works and projects have been published in numerous media specialized worldwide.
Caesar capabilities focus on the design and development of complex and large projects like convention centers, educational buildings, offices and sports complexes, trying to deepen relations between the building and its physical and cultural environment. His projects have won numerous awards and recognitions. Among them we can highlight the selections for the FAD Awards 2010 and 2006, the Honorable Mention and Selection for the 7th and 8th Architecture Biennale in Sao Paulo in 2007 and 2009, selection for the exhibition Young Spanish Architects (JAE) in 2008 the European Landscape Prize Rosa Barba at the 5th European Landscape Biennial, the First Prize of Urbanism and Ecology 2008 City College of Architects Vasco Navarro, among others.
Caesar has been the chief architect of the new San Mames Stadium for Athletic Club in Bilbao. This stadium has been awarded several prizes among which the first prize in the category of Sports Architecture at the World Architectural Festival (WAF) 2015, the Second Stadium DB Award in the public vote for the best stadium in 2015 and recently He has achieved the LEED Certificate, being the first stadium to get in Europe.