Lead Architect: Miguel Domper, Nuria Domingo
Construction Of Building: Hidalgo Navarro Hinaco SL
Construction Of Courtyard: Equipamiento Blaslo
Structural Calculation: Manrique Matute estructuras
Design Team: Diana López, Cristina Talón, Carlos Orteu, Daniel Aljaro
Text description provided by the architects. A multi-family, free-market housing block is developed, organized into four floors above ground and two floors below ground. The block consists of fifteen homes located on the ground floor and on the raised floors, three shops located on the ground floor and semi-basement and the garage and storage area that are located on the semi-basement and the basement levels. The project strategy stems from the three fundamental conditions that the site has; the urban situation of being on the limit of two distinct areas, the unevenness between access levels and the preservation of the historical-patrimonial value of the preexisting building. Faced with these conditions, two project criteria or modes of action are established.
The urban limit-situation is treated by seeking its permeability. A new “point of contact” will be generated between the new city (Avda. del Pilar) and the old one (Miguel Servet). This new opening tries to improve the situation of isolation of the central zone of the street Miguel Servet (apparent in the lack of commerce, of occupied houses, etc). The idea of making the building permeable for the crossing of pedestrians has to be made compatible with the existing difference between the slopes of both streets. To do this “step” the urban dimension of the sequence of elements that compose it will be sought for: the passage, the square (courtyard), the stands (stairs) and terraces (stair landings). This sequence that crosses the building reinforces the idea of continuity of the urban space, and therefore the permeability of the limit.
On the other hand, the action aims to re-value the pre-existing building, not only as a material restoration of the facades but as a re-occuping of the building for its original use (noble house), understanding the essence of its elements and returning them to the state for which they were built. This strategy derives in several concrete project decisions: Maintaining the "spatial essence" of the noble house and the enhancement of the facades. Prior to the development of an area intended for public use, the possibility of reinforcing this space was assessed together with the adjoining building, collected in a project phase of the same property. Currently, a way to relate the emptying of this space for public use with the historical evolution of the city is found in highlighting the old layout of the medieval Christian wall.
One of the main points to consider when developing the project was the presence of the medieval Christian wall on the northern edge of the plot, the edge of the wall is located at the same altitude as the sidewalk of the Avenida del Pilar. Being a space understood as a widening of the Avenue and serving the pedestrian flow towards the street Miguel Servet and rolling into the building, a platform is located coinciding with the current slope of Avenida del Pilar, with the pavement continuing in the outer space on the ground floor of the building that connects with the street Miguel Servet, to give continuity to the proposed pedestrian flow.
This platform is the former foundation base of the building. A level is generated at a lower hight simulating the excavation of the land in order to see the foundation of the building and in order to be able to visualize the existing wall. This is formalized with the presence of slopes which will include the urban furniture of the space. At the intersection between the continuous platform of tile floor without bevel and the excavation paved with continuous rubber, an element of urban furniture emerges, born as a vertical wall, with a maximum height of 60 cm at the highest point, materialized with a steel sheet material.