The building location has a special value based on the relationship between the built-up area of the city and the urban banks of the Ebro river, recuperated for the 2008 Expo, forming a linear park that accompanies the river on its way through Zaragoza.
The project is based on two fundamental ideas. The first idea is in response to the special urban and landscape importance of the location, via a formal definition and configuration of the building that suggests an intense relationship with the landscape; the second aims to express the intrinsic relationship between the environmental commitment of the project and its materiality and the building programme.
The relationship with the adjacent urban spaces and the topographic features of the site become active conditions for the implementation of the building, making the levels of the different floors and entrances coincide with the already existing ones. These relationships can clearly be seen in the project section that also expresses the extension of the public space of the entrance, via the roof and the configuration of the building as a platform-viewpoint onto the Ebro river. The contrast between the solid podium of the platform, a continuation of the walls of the pre-existing electrical substation, and the lightness of the glass and wood pavilion that rests on this level, is one of the formal characteristics of the project, which also responds to the functional organisation of the different uses.
The roof is an essential element within the landscape design of the building as well as the main image that the residential buildings, which look out onto the park from the town side, have of the building. As an extension of the outer public space and accessed from the hall, the roof is configured as a viewpoint at different levels, which are joined together by gentle ramps and a terraced grandstand, designed as an outdoor amphitheatre for possible recreational uses. On the other hand, the programmatic demand for a certain pedagogical character in the environmental commitment of the project, which can be seen in the choice of construction as well as energy solutions and materials, is clearly visible on the roof, with its ecological and landscaped decking, solar panels and photovoltaic panels, that provide electricity for night-time lighting, via continuous flushmounted light fittings around the perimeter of the classroom and the offices, converting the building, at night, into a lighthouse in the park landscape.
Location: Avenue Echegaray y Caballero s/n. Zaragoza.
Architects: Magén Arquitectos
Developer: Municipality of Zaragoza
Colaboradores: Beatriz Olona (architect); José Luis Sánchez, Fernando Jiménez (quantity surveyor); Rafael González (engineer) ; José Sainz (structure)
Construction: Ferrovial Agroman SA
Photographs: Jesús Granada (2,3,4,6); Pedro Pegenaute (1,5,7)
Area: 1.948,17 m2
Budget: 2.934.222,68 €
XXV Prize Aragon Institute of Architects “Fernando García Mercadal”. Accésit. 2010.
11th Contractworld.award. Hannover Messe. Hannover. January 2011.
SAIE Selection 2010. Salone Internazionale dell`Edilizia. Bologna. October 2010.
“International Prize for Sustainable Architecture – 7th edition” Palazzo Tassoni, University of Ferrara. June 2010
“XXV Prize Fernando García Mercadal”. Aragon Institute of Architects. June 2010.
Sustainable Construction Fair. Municipality of Eskoriatza. November 2008.
101 Small Buildings I. Ed. Capress
Infopower nº 128, 2010.
EmeDos nº 138, 2010.