Location: Galtzaraborda, Spain
Technical Architect: Julen Rozas
Photographs: Aitor Ortiz
From the architect. In the middle of the 1960’s the industry of the region suffered a great development that led to the need for labor, generating new neighbourhoods in a short period of time.
These neighbourhoods, as Galtzaraborda, are usually high density areas which often have left the valley floor and its settlements begin to climb up the mountains.
The buildings are placed following the logic of the topographic lines, covering different levels and creating irregular voids between them that are used to connect at maximum slope different levels.
The void space that concerns us is the natural connection between high levels of housing and the lower level occupied by the equipment, train station, sports center and nursery.
This irregular and casual space is dominated by the presence of a huge tree to be maintained as a valuable witness of the change process in the neighbourhood.
The elevator has been built “in the only place where it could be”, its location is a crossing point resulting from the rule requiring minimum distances, maintaining the view of site from the houses around and not exceeding alignments of them.
The second point that determines the shape of the elevator is the position of the gateway bridge which is misalignment and tangent to the elevator to keep away from the tree, focusing the pedestrian way in the virtual axis of the void space.
In this position, the gateway does not focus the eye on the door of the elevator, it allows the visitor to walk trough it with a visual depth much more open and serves as an observation point on the environment, the distant mountains and the harbour of Pasaia.
It has sought the maximum slenderness and transparency throughout the element; all pieces have been designed using rigid steel panels with truss triangulations. The triangulations is the answer, first, to the structural logic and second, to an industrial language, in this sense, concrete walls have been form worked with sheet metal casing to provide them the mentioned industrial character. It is constructed in order to impregnate a sentimental relationship with the industrial language of the steel manufactures and the harbour that after all gave rise to Galtzaraborda.