Architects: MRM Arquitectos
Location: Estella, Navarra, Spain
Project Architect: Miguel Alonso Flamarique, Roberto Erviti Machain y Mamen Escorihuela Vitales
Collaborators: Josep Agustí de Ciurana,
Construction Company: Construcciones Elcarte s.l., Construcciones Ecay Andueza s.l.
Client: Ayuntamiento de Estella
Area: 469,931 sqm
Photographs: José Manuel Cutillas, Larrión y Pimoulier
In response to the limited definition of the program and the great need for flexibility it demands, we developed a proposal based on an organizational and compositional simplicity, grouping the different uses of the program in a single building.
The program is mainly divided into two parts that function independently: the business incubator and the technological center, each tailored to the various technical and spatial necessities that condition the constructive, structural and facility aspects of the design.
The volume is configured as a formal, material and visual unit, where the various alterations on the elevated levels show the different parts of the program and take advantage of natural light and views. This volume maximizes the outright and representative character of the center, easily visible and recognizable from a distance.
The facades on the elevated levels are comprised of great anodized aluminum lattices, that filter sunlight into the interior and avoid direct sunlight on the glass panes. The orientation of the lattices, as well as their density and the effect of their superimposition, allow us to control and adapt the façade to the different orientations with a single formal and aesthetic language. The eaves on the elevated levels also vary their dimensions depending on the orientation to proportion solar protection to the different programs of the center. The ground floor, however, is designed as an opaque plinth for the upper levels, with an exposed concrete finish.
With this uniform facade configuration and long-span structure, we pursued, from the beginning of the project, a spatial and functional versatility with the possibilities for internal reorganization, interconnected areas, and a high lighting and environmental comfort. This flexible architectonic solution has allowed us, even during construction, to modify the interior spaces for the activities of the first users, as they were being defined while the building was being constructed.
The approach to the building and the main access is through a great plaza. The main entrance to the building is defined through the volumetric play between the separated and rotated room containing the auditorium and the main lobby. Next to it, along the entire north façade, the lobby is connected to the great showroom space, polyvalent, subdivisible and accessible from the business incubator.
The ground floor also houses the workshops and the laboratories around a central courtyard, with road access for vehicles.
On the first floor, the technological center provides laboratories, changing rooms, a meeting room and a large diaphanous work area. The second floor is destined to offices, a training classroom and meeting rooms.
However, in the business incubator wing, the first and second floors are divided into spaces ranging from 50 to 75 square meters, conditioned with diverse services and flexible compartmentalization options, to be able to house and adapt to different business activities.
The exterior urban setting of the technological park is completed from the main access plaza with a longitudinal landscaped walkway as a communication axis with the future buildings of the center. This walkway is delimited by landscaped parterres that hide the parked vehicles from the pedestrian’s view. The use of native tree species in the whole area guarantees its good development, low-maintenance, optimal visual integration and better transition with the existing nature of the hillside of Montejurra.
Gardening criteria (partially executed)
Basic gardening criteria are defined responding to the optimal adequacy for this geographical area, understanding this project as an opportunity to recover a natural and balanced space. We pursued the creation of a natural space for complementary use, aiming for the recovery of the native vegetal system eliminated by construction and urbanization works.
The vegetation is laid out considering tall, medium and low species, generating different spaces according to the design and location criteria within the different areas of gardening. The use of grass is limited to the parterres in the main walkway due to its high water consumption and maintenance. For the landscaped area on the north and west façade, we propose shrubs and ground covers with drip irrigation.
The mountain terrain excavated or removed after the construction projects is damaged and altered, a fact that has led to a loss of topsoil. By introducing certain shrubs and ground cover native species such as rosemary or lavender, over time, the ground will start a development process with the first appearance of short-lived shrubs that by growing and dying will modify the ground and its richness allowing the emergence of new species. This process results in the future creation of a balanced indigenous forest ecosystem, and other ornamental but equally viable species within the walkway parterres.
The strategy to achieve this is the introduction of several species at a time, which together with the support of drip irrigation, will maintain a “natural” artificial space, practically independent and self-sufficient.