SEPE offices
Aleix Bagué

SEPE offices

Coll-Barreu Arquitectos como Arquitectos

San Sebastian is a lively city. It is the city of fusions. Its landscape is at the same time stony and marine, and its light is the white light of the haze and the bright light of Southern Europe. The Comb of the Winds by Chillida and the beautiful classical composure of the city express equally ambivalence. The international and film vocation shows that Donostia/San Sebastian is able to convert this union of lights and landscapes in a whole magical parallel world. The ground and first floor of a residential building in a neighbourhood recently created must be reformed to locate the offices of SPEE, the Spanish public service of employment support.

The project attends to express and take advantage of that multiple nature of light. A central vertical space is filled with white light reflecting panels to bathe the heart of the offices with pure, clean and dense light. A transparent skylight over the white planes allows to understand the interior of the block and to value the terraces and the domestic presences of the dwellings that occupy the top floors of the block. The perimeter reinforces the presence of natural light with a blue glass facade mounted on a black steel structure. Perforated wood panels filter the incoming light and protect the offices of the dominance of views from outside. The facade is the heterogeneous light of San Sebastian landscape. The natural changing light is not surprising but familiar. Guide circulations and draw places of stay or relationship. It also gives the public dimension that requires the institution: it makes the place a space for everyone.

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