Caja De Guadalajara Office Building / Solano & Catalán

© Miguel de Guzmán

Architects: Solano & Catalán
Location: , Spain
Project year: 2008 – 2009
Photographs: Miguel de Guzmán

© Miguel de Guzmán

The building has a tangential position with respect to the city and is part of the first urban development on the far side of the A2 dual carriage way. Originally, the NII, the road connecting Madrid and Barcelona, passed through Guadalajara’s urban area. As the population increased, the daily and continued use of this road began to cause serious trouble, forcing to build a bypass road in the year 1959. Over time, the road became a dual carriageway, establishing the limit of the urban development for over thirty years. At present, this border has been exceeded again by new tertiary and commercial developments that, after jumping over this main interurban road, have started to conquer the outer edge of the dual carriageway along the southeast perimeter.

plan 02

At the same time, the City Council approved a bylaw to develop the buildable area allocated to these plots in volumes of up to fifteen stories above ground level, representing a firm commitment of the municipal Corporation for these sectors. From then on, these edge grounds get an extraordinary hegemonic importance as new developments’ axis and begin to influence in order to attract companies, trading firms and financial institutions wishing to operate in the Corredor. This circumstance causes a displacement to the south of Guadalajara’s traditional city centre and generates a unique and unprecedented façade on one of the most important roads in the country.

© Miguel de Guzmán

The job is born of the free will of CajaGuadalajara. This institution, which is aware of the need to renovate its somewhat outdated and obsolete head office for it to be renewed by other installations in line with the services and facilities required by the current financial environment, decides to move to a better area with greater social meaning and build there a more contemporary and representative office. For that purpose, CajaGuadalajara choose a plot of one of the edge sectors located at the other side of the A2 dual carriageway.

© Miguel de Guzmán

Trying to achieve uniqueness, last-generation technological facilities and environmental sustainability, the building is constructed within the plot, parallel to the dual carriageway, in front of another office tower. Both towers share a unitary pedestal and the space between them is used to build a common square. This platform, facing midday, links the cultural activity of CajaGuadalajara to a varied supply of shops and accessorial services located on the same height and with access from this area.

© Miguel de Guzmán

The aesthetic image of the building is interpreted as a millefeuille tower composed by a grid of horizontal glass panes, and is protected and characterized by a random sequence of horizontal sun breakers. Consequence and result of the fleetingness of a glance from the dual carriageway, it is intended that the building appears as a sculptural building block without scale which is only defined by the shadows produced by the sheets and where references to both floorslabs and to structural elements disappear.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Caja De Guadalajara Office Building / Solano & Catalán" 12 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <>

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