CAP Salt 2 / BAAS


© Pedro Pegenaute

Architect: Jordi Badia
Collaborators: Daniel Guerra, Rafael Berengena, Andreu Orradre
Location: Salt, Girona, Spain
Structure: Eduard Doce, architect
Measurement: FCA Forteza Carbonell Associats
Services: Consulting Lluís Duart
Client: GISA. Gestió d’infraestructures S.A. – Departament de Sanitat
Project year: 2004
Construction year: 2006-2008
Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute

Summary

The project guarantees functional and economic calibre, opening up the ground floor to public use and rationalising floorspace by grouping it into clear functional parcels. These functional parcels are separated by interjacent courtyards which, at the same time, subdivide the vast size of the facility into smaller, more human spaces. The first floor and ground floor house the administration and consulting areas respectively.

access scheme

The division of the building is designed so that it guarantees user privacy.

Windows overlooking the courtyards alternate between low-level in the waiting room and high-level in the consulting rooms, ensuring constant natural ventilation and sunlight without any visual or physical intrusion whatsoever.

The dimensions and proportions, both interior and exterior, stem from the adoption of construction criteria and the use of regular and modular elements. This favours speedy and straightforward construction, helped by dry material assembly cutting back costs.


© Pedro Pegenaute

The building stands on a hollow below street level, bestowing it with more privacy without the need for physical separations. Along the same lines, the dark-coloured, large-scale but reduced-headroom entrance porch filters the interior from the exterior and enshrouds the proceedings inside.

From outside, the heavy, almost blank yet balanced image of the building harmonises with the industrial surroundings. The use of gleaming galvanised panels on the façade reflects the ever-changing tones of light throughout the day.

The concept

section

To take prefabricated-industrial architecture to the limits. The project is designed as a stylistic blueprint for the concept. The entire structure, façade enclosure, interior enclosure, false ceilings, etc. are all perceived as a fusion of catalogue products based around strict modulation for dry construction. This could enable the future systematised construction of other similar facilities, saving both time and costs.

The project

Ground-floor development with all public access areas, except for some private areas on the first floor.
The ground floor takes the form of a solid piece, practically blind given the inherent privacy requirements of a health centre. To avoid street-level openings and due to the building’s use, courtyards harmonise the consultation areas, thus bestowing natural ventilation and sunlight.

Besides providing optimum conditions for the health centre, said courtyards act as a filter between the consulting rooms and the waiting rooms. Each piece has an out-of-sync opening so that sunlight streams in yet direct views are rendered impossible. The consulting rooms have high-level strip windows whereas in the waiting rooms they are low-level. On the ground floor, the structure opens outs to the exterior only to light and ventilate the row of consulting rooms at each extreme. These openings are suitably protected by aluminium shutters.


© Pedro Pegenaute

Apart from these openings, on one corner there is a steel outlet which leads to the building entrance.

The courtyards, at regular cross sections to floor level, organise a layout of totally homogeneous and repetitive bays only interrupted by a fishbone-style corridor which completes the floor and is positioned so that it disjoins the row of consulting rooms and marks off spaces geared towards certain functions such as the reception area, health education section and service areas.
The upper level is simply a raised extension of one of the ground-floor bays and a layout of central corridor and offices opens out to the exterior just as the ground floor does: with a shutter-protected strip window.
From the first floor upwards, the building simply arises in the form of an open-ceilinged façade, concealing the installations but providing ventilation.

The image


© Pedro Pegenaute

Taking into account the surroundings of the facility – markedly industrial – the image of the building is categorically rotund. A gleaming, extremely opaque exterior prism guarantees maximum privacy yet, in contrast, the interior is flooded with natural sunlight pouring in from the inner courtyards.

Materials

The use of prefabricated-industrial elements, depending on where and how, can merge and lead to surprising results worthy of the preconceived basis expected by the manufacturer.

The starting point – the structure – is based around a modular and repetitive mid-section of prefabricated pillars and girders on a continuous in situ foundation. The slab walls and roofs are then added by resorting to standard-sized prestressed concrete honeycomb panels. The pillars outline the floor freeing all interior spaces from any structural element. The exception is the metal-structured porch.


© Pedro Pegenaute

Façades

The façades consist of a Z-shaped galvanized sheet finish, supported by metal pans which contain the thermal insulation and are linked to the building structure.

At the extremes, the windowed façades opening onto the street are protected from the sun by mechanically-operated galvanized metal shutters. On street level, a resistant concrete plinth separates and closes off the metal façade from the pavement. The trimmers and drip edges use the same type of metal thus conferring uniformity to the entire building.

The roof is characterized by its simplicity. The use of filter tiles gives a 0% slope, saving slope layers and at the same time serving as a finish.

situation plan lower floor plan upper floor plan patios scheme

Cite: "CAP Salt 2 / BAAS" 26 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=23031>

12 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I find it funny that nobody comments baas buildings…i guess because their silenty good and when that happens there’s no need for too much talk. Both this and the barcelona and leon tanetoriums show a very kneet thoughtfull and discrete architecture if only their fellow compatriotes like abalos and herreros would follow their example.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Jordi Badia is simply one of the bests. And the team is too! (And I say that because I know some of the people in there…Rafael, Vicky, Marta…some good old friends from Bcn!)
    Nice project, as many of Baas’.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree that most of the talk in these forums tends to congregate around the questionable or controversial designs. Quietly good architecture often misses the attention it deserves. This building is a perfect example of an understated but elegant design. Great project!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    baas is a really good office and the projects seems really good, but in this case i have to criticize the photographer….horrible pics….

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    My attention to BAAS’s architecture is after the Leon City Morgue building … it is one of my favourite – quite or quietly poetic and speaks volume. This building also tries at being invisible. Yes, I know, it’s obviously not but see it from the perspective of not wanting to be noticed … ahhhhh, see? The windows from the rooms play that game too. These are great architectural “tricks” and very successful when carefully applied by a good practice like BAAS. Natural light to all the rooms … well, there is a lot of good designs here but it just does not want to be seen.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Its true… most ppl would rather spend time criticizing then leaving a “job well done” on this website. But I guess I’ll waste some time and drop one. ;)

    I do love the attention to detail around the entrance of this building and towards the decisions made concerning the windows/shutters. Interior material choices are alright. Cheers to BAAS.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This project is overwhelmingly, frighteningly masculine. Everything is enormous and dark and heavy. The courtyard in the photograph looks like a trash alleyway. Why would somebody design a health center to look imposing and scary?

    You guys really like patting each other on the back, huh?

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @diddy
    back patting comes from different sources: admiration, compassion, pity, snobbery, solidarity… which one do you think joe was talking about?

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