ArchitectsManuel Fonseca Gallego
From the architect. The location of the Nature and Urban Ecology Centre, immersed in a pine forest with no site, has been established after conducting a thorough study of the topography, trying to avoid an excessive clearance and the indiscriminate cutting of the magnificent tree specimens that surround it.
The pure and clear prism has an east-west direction in order to maximize the south orientation, incorporating a north-south cross ventilation and allowing us to enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding environment.
It’s access has been configured as a real tour, starting next to the road and materializing into a gentle slope that points the way, trying to extend the landscape’s contemplation.
The intervention consists of a linear program developed in one level, responding to functionality and simplicity criteria. The bathroom and storage areas arrange the different rooms, releasing its facades, clearly distinguishing the public area (that includes a classroom for educational and environmental activities) from the private area (reception, lobby and offices).
The building is posed as a dialogue with the exterior through large glass panels that allow transparency and visual communication between the different orientations and direct contemplation and interpretation, including different indoor units. At the same time it enhances natural light, illuminating interior spaces, protecting itself from solar radiation in summer through “Euronit” fixed blades set in the façade. This material is also used in the outdoor configuration incorporating panels that generate complete ventilated facades that unify the volume, only altered by the insertion of large sliding wooden doors that serve to mark the access, closing and fully safeguarding the centre when it’s not in use due to its isolated location. The whole construction is topped with a green roof that collects rainwater for reuse.
The bioclimatic presence of the whole is reinforced by the integration of photovoltaic solar panels on its cover in order to produce electricity, which enhances passive strategies such as cross ventilation, ventilated facades, green roof, solar protection, rainwater collection, improved insulation, under floor ventilated air chamber, etc.
During the construction, the uniqueness of the implementation has been taken into account, using highly, easily laid, recyclable materials such as wood, composite slab, galvanized sheets, metal structure, etc.