Laboratory Canfranc / Basilio Tobías

© Pedro Pegenaute

Architects: Basilio Tobías Location: , Collaborators: Daniel Fuertes, Susan Valdivia, Francisco Corbalán, Ateco (structure), JG Ingenieros (installations) Quantity surveyor: Gabriel López Developer: Consorcio para el Laboratorio Subterráneo de Canfranc Builder: Sacyr Completion: December 2010 Budget: 2,189,467,33 € Floor area: 2,115.46 sqm Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute 


© Pedro Pegenaute

The building is crossed by a transverse axis with two main entrances: one from the west at the level of Ayerbe’s walkway (through the second floor) and the other from the east (through the ground floor). From this axis, including the staircase and the lift, start, in the three upper floors, corridors parallel to the façade.

© Pedro Pegenaute

The two lower floors fit partially into the ground while the three upper floors are embraced inside a compact rectangular encircling plan. Two outside staircases keeping the slope of the ground, connect the Ayerbe’s walkway with the level of the outside platform increasing the permeability of these area.

© Pedro Pegenaute

Laboratories and workshop are located on the ground floor. On the first floor there is a workshop’s mezzanine, technician’s offices and a multipurpose area used as a seminar and exhibition hall. The second floor is used for administration and management area with the main meeting room opening out towards the terrace. On the third and fourth floors are the user’s area and residential areas. These last, located on the third floor have an independent access by means of a staircase which connects with the Ayerbe’s walkway.

© Pedro Pegenaute

The terraced profile, which reduces the volumetric impact in a leafy area, with balanced volumes, is reinforced by the layout of the roof, covered with aluminium panels, sloped towards the east. The terrace of the first floor is planned as a horizontal plane which echoes the “Forester’s spot” on a higher level.


The continuous encircling guaranteed by the use of the concrete, with a wooden plank form, allows the building to settle correctly on the steep slope of the soil establishing a proper relationship between the concrete planes and the wide windows placed on the external planes. Aluminium panels are put on the ledges and form the frame which constitutes both the eaves and the projection of the east façade’s last two floors windows, creating a light element which varies with the sunlight to increase the far sights building’s perception.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Laboratory Canfranc / Basilio Tobías" 28 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Sep 2014. <>


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