The first: to design a building that can ‘feel like a city’ – both due to its uniqueness and to the public spaces it generates.
The second: to design a building which connects with distant perspectives when walking around, providing at the same time introspection when inside its exhibition halls.
In other words, a building which ‘feels like a city’ and which makes us feel part of it when we inhabit it.
We solve these two challenges by raising the level of the halls. This allows freeing the ground floor, where we place the more open and transparent spaces: the lobby and the store. Our aim is to create public spaces, make the park extend into the city by passing under the building – a space which is lit at night with drawings obtained by perforating the plate, which in addition hides the structure supporting the elevated halls.
Below the raised halls we place a semi-underground garden that serves as the exit to the auditorium and which can also be considered an anteroom or outdoors catering area. Thus, the auditorium – located underground and accessible through the lobby – can be considered as halfway underground and directly connected to the city thanks to the garden.
The two suspended halls face each other at different levels in a way that the visitor who exits one hall has a view of the city below the other hall. We believe decompression and relaxation areas are necessary between both halls – i.e., between exhibitions. With this aim, the two halls are connected by escalators, offering a journey which allows us to enjoy the distant views – completely different from the decontextualisation produced by elevators and which cannot offer the visitor any type of decompression.
On the upper part of the building and with views to the city are the coffee shop and the restaurant. Opposite to them and created by the different levels between halls, there is a terrace-bar which – keeping with the indoors restaurant – allows to enjoy fantastic views of the Ranillas meander and Expo Zaragoza
Thanks to its unique and feasible structure, our building appears as a sculptural element amidst the park.
We want our building to become a symbol of the progress of the technique and generosity of culture – we want it to be a reflection of only the best things of our times.
We started the Project considering two challenges: First: a building capable of "making the city", by its singularity as well as by the public spaces generated. Second: a building that connects with the city and the new park through remote perspectives as one goes through it, but at the same time it should provide introspection in the exhibition halls. That is, a building "creating city" which at the same time makes us a part of it as we inhabit it.
These two ways to approach the project are solved raising the exhibition halls in order to free the ground floor so the more open and transparent areas, such as the lobby and the shop, can be placed there. Our intention is to generate public space, taking the park towards the city and through the building; a space that will be lit at night with drawings coming from the metal sheet façade's perforations. This metal sheet is also hiding the main structure supporting the elevated exhibition halls.
The garden is placed underneath the raised exhibition hall and semi-buried, so that it is also auditorium's evacuation. This garden can also be understood as a lobby and exterior catering zone for the auditorium, so that it is connected directly to the city even when it is placed in the basement.
The two suspended halls are facing each other on different levels so that, once outside, the city can be seen above or below the other hall. We think that some relax areas should be placed in between the exhibition halls and this is why the connection between the halls is solved by escalators, a type of path that allows distant views, instead of elevators that take us out of context and don't offer the decompression needed between exhibitions.
ULMA Architectural Solutions has taken part in the project for the new Caixaforum cultural centre in Saragossa, installing a wide range of drainage channels.
This cultural centre is part of La Caixa Foundation and is located on Avenida Anselmo Clavé 4, close to the railway station. The site covers an area of 4407 square metres. The building is designed for all types of public and offers a wide range of activities, such as conferences, seminars, cinema, music and theatre.
A total of 90 linear metres have been installed around the centre using different product ranges with their corresponding grilles.
One of these is the SELF range, with models SELF200 and EUROSELF200 , both with galvanised grille. These channels are suitable for pedestrian areas.
Another of the channels uses the M100 model with galvanised steel grille, part of the MINI range.
Finally, channels of the MULTIV+ range, specifically the MULTIV150 channel with ribbed iron grille, have been installed. The V-shape design of these channels allows water to drain off at greater speed, improving the self-cleaning effect of the channel.
These drainage channels have provided a suitable overall solution for the facility.