Architects: Celis-Echeverría CDE Arquitectura Location: Plaza de San Diego, S/N, 28801 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, España Partners Design Team: Ernesto Echeverría, Flavio Celis Architects In Charge: Ernesto Echeverría, Flavio Celis, Blanca Moreno Area: 11455.0 sqm Year: 2014 Photographs: Bernardo Corces
Execution Of The Works Management: Ignacio Delgado Conde, Juan Manuel Vega Ballesteros Technical Architect: Ignacio Delgado, Juan Manuel Vega Architects Collaborators: Blanca Moreno, Fernando da Casa, María Paniagua Students Collaborators: Lucía Díaz, Leonor Martín, Adela García, Patricia Domínguez Ercer. Diseño, Construcción E Instalaciones S.L.: Juan Peral Architect Consultant: Daniel Merro Ach Slp Engineering: Juan Travesí Euring Engineers: Felipe Cicujano Dragados S.A. Site Management: Álvaro Ruiz, Roberto Hernández, Luis Carbajosa; Roberto Martínez, Juan Boillos; Trinidad García Construction Management: Álvaro Ruiz, Roberto Martínez, Roberto Hernández, Trinidad García, Luis Carbajosa, Juan Boillos
From the architect. The project development has combined various goals, such as maintaining the pre-existing building through the introduction of a complex functional program within a given volume.
Maintaining the façade and its formal and material characteristics was mandatory. The intervention consisted on rebuilding the interior space, maintaining a balance between the pre-existing conditions, the conceptual interpretation of the disappeared elements and setting a new program of needs through the use of contemporary materials and figurative codes within a logical and coherent project. It is important to consider that the interior of the building had been continually modified over decades by the military, which did not preserve, except for the entrance hall, any relevant characteristic or original elements.
Beyond preserving the outer limits of the building as it was required by the law, we tried to emphasize some of its key features: the entrance hall access as a transition element between the public space of the city (the square) and the public space inside the headquarters (the courtyard); the placement of different levels of slabs in accordance with the original levels and the maintenance of the height of the windows to conjure up the ancient user’s relationship with the outside space.
Although the building was always very compartmentalized, much importance it was given to the restoration of the inner perception of the construction, whose urban perception it always was unified.
The global operation was performed using a contemporary contained language and limited to a structure of columns and slabs, and a roof structure to which the services are attached. A lift core and a longitudinal stair, which runs linearly across the building, are the only elements that cross and connect the different levels. The inclusion of some patios allows a unified vision of the building from different angles.