This project involved two significant challenges.
From the construction perspective, our building was to use the retaining walls from the basement in the original building, which coincided with the perimeter of the plot.
In terms of the design, we had to create a building without a specific purpose, making the best use of a plot with a highly irregular surface area.
In accordance with current urban planning regulations, the best way to take full advantage of the plot was by designing a building with three floors (semi-basement, ground floor and first floor), as well as the basement floors for the garage. It was then necessary to decide whether the entrance should be located on the ground floor or semi-basement floor; the latter option was eventually selected as it provided space for a larger entrance more visible from the street, as well as boosting the flow of natural light into the building. The entrance is located on the corner of the façade.
The challenge in terms of the construction lay in maintaining the retaining wall from the previous building without using any of the existing ceiling frames as they did not coincide with the new floor heights. Moreover, in the case of the basement it was necessary to excavate almost 3 m below the existing level, situating the construction work below the water level and below the neighbouring basements. In order to build the new retaining wall on the party walls, a jet grouting screen was required to consolidate the earth beneath the buildings, while in the area next to the street it was sufficient to carry out the excavation using trenches before bracing the wall itself with metal profiles.
On the basis of this structure, we were required to create a multi-purpose building which could house between one and eight tenants. As a result, we designed the floors as highly versatile open-plan spaces, occupied only by the vertical communication core and a bathroom area on the ground and first floors.
The façade is characterised by formal cleanliness, altered only by the overhang above the entrance. It is clad in lightweight composite panels with an aluminium finish, lending it a contemporary, timeless feel. The maximum dimensions of the panels influenced the design of the composition of voids on the façade, which were finished with anodised aluminium carpentry produced by the company Technal.
The tenant later contacted us to commission the design of a new layout for the building to act as the new headquarters for the European University of Valencia.