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New Head Office of the County Council of Malaga

New Head Office of the County Council of Malaga

Architect
Luis Machuca & Associates
Location
n/a, Spain
Project Year
2003
Category
Offices

New head office

Luis Machuca & Associates as Architects

The County Council of Malaga (Diputación de Málaga) as institution represents the province through a corporation and a “mini-parliament”. At the same time it is the main agent to support the different communities in multifaceted matters, specifying fields of work for the operational services of the province.


As a public space where debates are realized and civil problems are solved, the build-ing should be simple and easy to understand, appreciated in a transparent and acces-sible way. It is a place where the limits of property become blurred in favour of spaces that evolve from minor to major privateness. The complex pretends to establish a spa-cious external area, in terms of a square, which offers room to a different progression of approximation to the work places. Equally, the building becomes accessible to the citizen by including spaces for scenic, exhibitional and cultural purposes increasing its public character.


The site The former building of the community centre (Centro Cívico), previously the hospitals Hospital de la Sangre and Casa de la Misericordia, is located beside the same-called beaches and forms the principal reference of the project of the new headquarter of the delegation of Málaga. The new building is designed as horizontal solution permeable to its environment. A convenient solution to revalue the historic building, currently lost between constructions of a low architectural grade, attempting to maintain the site’s references both to the interior and to the exterior of the parcel.


The building is composed of two sizeable volumes. The first one is designed to supply the institutional requirements such as the presidency, the political groups, the secre-tary’s office and the assembly room. It is located close to the second one aligned in a perpendicular way to the coast. This part of the headquarter accommodates all types of services and technical and administrative areas which are integrated into the delega-tion up to date. These two volumes are connected to each other through a space at the semi-basement, in a linear way and by a ramp which admits to centralise the access from the building Centro Cívico, adding the benefit to use this space for exhibitions.


The garden area of the Centro Cívico joins the building through a free ground floor. This floor is planned as an additional gangway being the place to enter the different modules of the complex.


The integration of the environment has been one of the concerns brought up in the design of the building that - like already expressed - avoids losing the external refer-ences. The breeze of the Mediterrean Sea reaches to every space of the complex. The main square, opened to the sea, the transparent character of the ground floor, the in-clusion of the garden in the first office floor and the water in the roofing of the parking site, help to get a bottom and sea level closer to the people working there. It seems to change the topography and the new building is part of it.


Skins and sustainability The project is based on the idea of its constructive solution. The sheet glass with its outline and the mesh front made of steel used as protecting cover completely form its physiognomy. The permeability, facility and transparency of the work places associate and incorporate the maritime surroundings with the building. For this reason it is nec-essary to protect it against the strong solar radiation. The front of stainless steel admits the chance to adopt glasses of maximal transparency optimizing the environmental conditions, such as thermal and luminous conditions. At the same time the metallic facades create a private atmosphere to the interior spaces, always close to the city traffic of the adjoining streets. In combination with this a third skin appears in the inte-rior, in several parts and flexible and made of bars of twisted wood, which intensifies this effect. This element can be handled by the user individually, creating a place of continuous movement of reflexes, light, shadows and twinkles what generates a high contrast with the static aspect of the huge volumes made of concrete and glass.


The structure becomes the fundamental part of the project. The transparent glass marks the metallic profile letting space to guess the structural functioning of the com-plex. On the other hand the accentuated horizontal design of the modules is imple-mented by the curtain wall through unions of structural silicon in vertical direction, trust-ing in the succession of holes and spaces where the surface of the metallic profile is wider.


Usually, sustainability is associated as a concept directly linked to energy savings. But apart from this, sustainability also helps immediately to improve resources of mainte-nance, mobility without any dependancy to mechanical means, etc. In these terms the complex of the new headquarter of the delegation of Málaga has been created. The opportunity to dispose of sufficient amount of space, permitted to design the buildings in a horizontal way that can be covered by foot. In general, any kind of building works better being constructed in a horizontal way and a public space used by many people accentuates more providing this criteria.


The building of the new headquarter is characterized by a modern and bare design which is closely linked to the natural obligation of public institutions to advance by using new materials and technologies. All this with the aim to reach a higher level of sustain-ability. By using different types of skin, the building obtains better conditions regarding both the cooling of the building edges and the control of the illumination, everything without losing the references of the site.


New technologies allow that the building services regulates the articifial light system taking into account the external needs, something indispensable in the city of Málaga, intending to save in consumption. The building produces the needed energy by using a central trigeneration system, hot water, cooling and electric energy. So the town gas is transformed in sufficient energy for self-consumption. In this way it is posible to de-crease the contamination rates of the thermal central offices significantly.


The study of lighting systems had been made by different installers because we wanted to handle different solutions in order to adjust the project with the best lighting solution to the budget we had. We chose the items and equipment of IGUZINNI and INDALUX.


Lighting systems The offices are illuminated with the wide system by IGUZINNI a lighting system which envelopes and illuminates without harshness, with quite good balance of direct-indirect lighting. A comprehensive system with a wide range of applications: low luminance, diffused light. Wide uses fluorescent tubes with reduced energy consumption. The spe-cial lighting system of the theatre, plenary hall and exhibition areas is resolved with le perroquette system by IGUZINNI available with four different sizes of the spotlight-body to permit application flexibility. The maxi-woody spotlight by IGUZINNI system is used as exterior lighting. The singular characteristic of Maxi Woody projectors is their adaptability to a range of lighting projects for urban areas and open spaces. This was created for lighting horizontal surfaces having different photometric distribution re-quirements.


The facades have a very simple solution with modules of fluorescent light sources by INDALUX which can be combined making continuous lines. In this way we succeed in the idea of use the light as if it was indirect sunlight. At the same time if you see the building from the street it looks like if it was always operating which provides security.


The different skins of the building aren’t necessary solar-control glasses. We wanted to have maximum transparency from inside and different transparencies and reflections from outside. We only needed to avoid unpleasant brights and flashes, so we decided to use “climalit 8+12+6” glasses in the curtain wall by TECHNAL. We also installed 6-6+12+6 safety glass in the basement rooms, obviously to improve the safety control.


To conclude, the building of the new delegation headquarter of Málaga proved the fact that economical arquitecture within limited budgets is possible in contrast to expensive luxurious and oversized public buildings. The crucial factor is to rationalise the project by an appropriate selection of material and instalations, omitting an exorbitant and in-justificable investment.

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