Tracasa Office Building / AH Asociados

Architects: AH Asociados – Miguel A. Alonso del Val, Rufino J. Hernández Minguillón, Pablo Branchi Borrell, Francisco Trujillo Baute
Location: Sarriguren,
Collaborators: Lorena Borquez, Miguela Modrego, Eduardo Ozcoidi, Miren Oyanguren, Emma Alonso, Javier Gil y Clara Ojer
Riggers: Michel Aldaz García-Mina, Carlos Revenga Frauca, Idoya Alba Orduna y Aingeru Bozal Lópe
Engineering: GE & Asociados
Promotor: Tracasa
Project year: 2004
Constructed area: 19,800 sqm
Photographs: José Manuel Cutillas – Proyectar

The building has been planned as a well worked “pile” which rests on the terrain, adapting to its natural contours. It works from the precepts of superposition. It is placed on top of its supporting devices, and develops a layering, a coincidence and a meeting up with the natural and built environment.

The solution allows the topography to be shown in its most natural and pure form, creating both meeting points and places of desertion.

A building such as this, which attracts a large number of users, should consider its link to the rest of the city: which is the logical approaching sequence, the way the visitor or the worker should be received, what must be assigned to the town, and what must not. This way, an entrance hall is created which allows access on two levels, which is the public dimension of this architectural design. This entry is gained from the outside street, facing northwards, generating easy access, understated and managed, and created out of a piece of public land on its own plot, with a square caught and configured by its own building, blended in with the naturalness of its terrain, which serves as an overflow area for the buildings’ most public functions.

Towards the eastern oriented side street, the sheer volume of the ground floor is offset, allowing for the creation of a public square offering wind shelter, which helps the social expansion of the building, thereby strengthening relations with its townsfolk.

Cite: "Tracasa Office Building / AH Asociados" 19 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • x

    it doesn’t feet in the surrounding and it’s not sold, it is a rubish design or at least as the photos show, sorry, but true, i study arch and know

  • marco

    Sorry buddy! not because you study “arch” that you “know”… some people have a whole career behind them and don’t even “know”!
    It is a beautifull building.

  • PanamArq

    i dont think any “townsfolk” will go here without any programs to attract them. It is silly to assume that just because of architectural gestures that the building will be more friendly to its neighbors. it looks as if conference or classrooms face the “public square”. why not a cafe here if they are attempting to create a public square since these walls will be covered most of the time if they are classrooms.

  • Duncan

    Well, it certainly is not groundbreaking, but it looks habitable… As long as the client and the architect are cool with it… Just that maybe architects should not try to over justify their decisions with fancy notions of involving the townspeople and stuff…

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  • USCTrojan90

    Would someone like to attempt to explain how this “…building has been planned as a well worked “pile” which rests on the terrain, adapting to its natural contours” is achieved?? When I think of a building adapting its surrounding natural contours I think of BIG’s Greenlands National Gallery of Art, not this slightly decorated concrete block sitting on a plinth. Furthermore, If they were referring to how the building interacts with the ground plane, and not its overall form reacting to the natural contours, then it is even less spectacular then I first thought. Simply allowing your building to step down a hill is not innovative.

    Only positive I can think of is the clean sleek use of materials. It does bring to thought the sensation of taking a deep breath of clean cool air.