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  7. Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos

Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos

  • 01:00 - 29 July, 2009
Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos
Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos

Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos +39

  • Architects

  • Location

    Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain
  • Architect

    QVE Arquitectos
  • Architects In Charge

    José María García del Monte, Ana María Montiel Jiménez & Fernando García Colorado
  • Structure Consultant

    José Luis Fernández Cabo
  • Services Consultant

    GEA S.L.
  • Cost Consultant

    José Luis Montoya & Luis Alberto Martinez de Sarriá / Construction Phase
  • Area

    2000.0 sqm
  • Project Year


From the architect. The opportunity to risk and try to arrive where you had never been: the joy of playing with gravity

The will to project the building beyond its limits, flying over the water, to put the visitors in a privileged place: just inside the park, once forgotten the city at their backs, over the water, in a point at which you could not arrive otherwise: a twenty one meters span cantilever made of wood and steel

The will of not masking the structure during the constructive process: we did not want to make a "wood-looking-building" but a real wood-building. From structure to finished building, hardly any new layers have appeared and at no time do they hide the wood.

Sustainability must born in mind right from the very spatial conception of the building: we have created shade and cross-ventilation, we made unnecessary to install air-conditioning, so we will only consume what is strictly necessary and, we'll save a lot of money and energy on gadgets. Sustainability refers also to not to use asphalt or plastic products, to let the water run free (not draining it, we are on wetlands), to use Nordic wood as main material for the whole building, to use autocompactable concrete, which avoids noise pollution, an important issue in such a biodiversity site...

The difficulty of the project was to find the laws which were coherent with a risky construction scheme. We checked the scheme to estimate its dimensional limits, study knots, analyze how to reach enough rigidity, how to manage to reach the necessary fire resistance and how to protect the most delicate points from rain, without "sacrifice skins" that would transform the image of the building.

In a few words, we needed to find an order which would avoid conflicts and which would allow the building to "grow by himself".

So, we designed six frames for six section schemes, according to the desired geometry; used concrete walls and steel knots to solve the contact between two worlds (wood and ground) and decided a severe rhythm for the whole building; each part is built up by repetition, so we could make it grow or contract by adding or clearing a number of frames.

Now the building is just finished, the area must reborn and the wood must age... years will improve it.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Salburúa Nature Interpretation Centre / QVE Arquitectos" 29 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


billu pukhare · April 26, 2013

ya, this structure mhanje kharach dokyala taap..samajle ka angrejo?

vlad · April 14, 2011

so where's the other half of it ??

up_today_arch · March 02, 2011

What a nice cantilever... many thanks for executive drawings...

Daniel Vega Olazábal · May 10, 2010

@admoreau @elcu_rioso @Soutonco Vean esto.

helen · August 05, 2009

i dotn think the view is worth it..

casio · August 05, 2009 07:59 AM

nice.. but kinda useless?
a wide deck with benches next to the lake will do the trick.

agree with Helen.

i will 100% love the structure if it was built over grand canyon/ niagara falls etc..

myself ;) · July 31, 2009

In the photos is not well shown, but the cantilever is over water, so this is the reason of it: the promoter wanted a viewing platform built as a tower, but it would be inadeaquated for the place; so, the project takes another direction and the viewing point grows from the building itself as its prolongation.

The wood is laminated fir and, in the cantilever, microlaminated fir, called "kerto".

sylc · July 30, 2009

What a well executed piece of architecture!
Both the construction and drawing set are well done.
What kine of nordic wood is it?
I wish the concrete pedestal at Grid Line 26 is wood also.

StructureHub Blog · July 29, 2009

Well done. The building is light-filled and warm, softly-hued and crisply executed in wood.

public eye · July 29, 2009

I don't know. I don't like this building or design. It seems that the architect just wanted to build a ridiculously long cantilever so that people hopefully will talk about it.

Mookie Wilson · July 29, 2009

Beautifully detailed and built, but I can't help asking the question: Why? Seriously, this is a pretty extravagant structure that serves basically as a small viewing platform at the very tip. The rest is pretty inert. Does this really accomplish anything more than two benches and a pier could not?

jr · July 29, 2009 07:48 PM

ask the same question to the most of the calatrava's or zaha's or gehry's projects for example..WHY?

kell · July 29, 2009 06:53 PM

of course there is that...

warbs · July 29, 2009 06:51 PM

Completely agree, Wilson.
Sustainability - which is paid lip service in the text, patting themselves on the back for not having air-conditioning - should begin with that very question.
Beautifully built though...

ofv · July 29, 2009

Complètement inutile

kell · July 29, 2009

What a wealth of information - thanks to all involved!
Quite alot of things I like about this, in particular:
The fact that the architects/engineers have taken a traditionally steel based approach to this cantilever and then stripped out as much of the steel as possible and replaced it with timber. IMHO the way forward.
The fact that aging has been taken into account - so many architects want their pristine photo ops on Day 1 (so it can look like the Rhino image) and neglect how it's going to look 3 years time.
good work.


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Salburúa自然湿地中心 / QVE Arquitectos