Architects: SUBARQUITECTURA + J.M. Torres Nadal
Location: Orihuela, Alicante, Spain
Client: UMH – Universidad Miguel Hernández
Contractor: UTE ECISA + COMSA
Site Area: 1,954 sqm
Construction finished: 2008
Photographs: Juan de la Cruz Megías
The building is located inside the Campus de los Desamparados in Orihuela, next to a lemon orchard. There, the conditions of light, lack of rain and heat are really extreme, exceeding 40º C during the summer months.
Laboratories and departments are grouped by a structure of interspersed rings, which contain a system of semi-outdoor courtyards connected with each other at different levels.
These rings are composed of three white plastic strips: the bottom one, in contact with the ground, is semi-transparent and porous, and lets you view the outside when you are sitting; the middle strip, very opaque and technical, leads the large volume of required facilities inside; and the last one, very diffuse, regulates the atmosphere and creates shadows, as a big cloud.
The semi-open courtyards become important meeting spaces, while allowing access to labs. In its technified semi-interior, conditions of light, humidity and temperature are locally modified by multiple infra-red and humidifiers.