The new 112 Building in Reus is the model for the new emergencies management and service system in Catalonia, and the first public facility in the country to have a LEED certification. It is a new architectonic typology that brings together all the bodies in charge of managing emergencies in Catalonia.
Before, these bodies were scattered around the territory (the 112 call centre, the police, firemen, public health and civil defence), had different phone numbers and didn’t share technological frameworks. Their gathering under a same roof, where they share technology and processes, and the substitution of all lines for the single emergencies number 112, will result in a more efficient and better coordinated management of emergencies.
The complex follows the rationale using an organizational system based on clear and concise project tools, which help standardize its heterogeneous demands and highlight what we consider important:
- The scale of the place: location within the territory, relation with infrastructures, artificial landscape.
- The relationship (previously hidden) between society and operatives: exterior view of the building, showing the new emergency management system, day and night presence.
- The coming together of the operative bodies in one building: a single structure holds them all, unified by the colour white, transversal to them all.
- The relation between operative bodies: definition of a common space that activates synergies (before they shared information from a distance; now they communicate).
Shape and Function
The building is horizontally divided into three layers: services plinth, public area and operational levels.
The services plinth (parking lot, changing rooms, stockrooms, resting areas, building services) becomes the element that adapts to the peculiarities of the plot (topography and shape). Its roof offers back to the environment a landscaped area, which meets with the public part of the building (auditorium, press room, restaurant) on the first floor. This floor, situated above the olive-tree fields, grants excellent views over the territory, leading to the next floors: the operative box.
The operative box is formed by a large metal structure and a plastic mesh that achieves a double objective: avoiding direct solar radiation on the façade, on all sides, and cancelling out the idea of openings in the façade, thus increasing the territorial aspect of the building.
The metal structure, apart from solving the functional needs of the operational rooms, also allows flexibility to be incorporated for future floor distributions and promotes an image of unity of the operational bodies integrated in the new emergencies management model, through its solidity and its white color, neutral to the uniforms of the operational bodies.
To boost the coordination and the synergies amongst the operators, the operations rooms are arranged around a large space that also allows natural diffuse sunlight to the inside of the operational box.
Otherwise, vertical communications are defined by four nuclei: the telecommunications tower nucleus – which is also useful when receiving visits – the authorities’ one, the maintenance one and the main access for workers one. This functional matrix (horizontal layers and vertical communications) coincides with the structural and conceptual configuration of the building: a ground floor with a reticular flooring (services plinth) and a metal structure box, that forms the operative area and is supported by the four concrete nuclei.
Text provided by ACXT Arquitectos