SOMOS.arquitectos is shortlisted in the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos in Albacete new extension.

This competition for the extension of the Institute of Architects is especially appealing, given the flexibility of the proposed program, the freedom of the spatial configuration and the indeterminacy of the minimum surfaces in relation to the different parts of the program. 

The client is willing to have a project able to spread the power of Architecture to the general public and as such, able to cover the need to design open and flexible spaces but deeply expressive and charged with meaning. Our proposal strives to establish clear visual relationships between the building, the activities it contains and the limits determined by the shape of the plot. Despite the fact that it shelters a bunch of different mixed uses, it answers with a clear and unified image, close and distant at the same time in relation to the passers-by through the position of its shifting façades with different depths regarding the distance from the official plot line. It uses the maximum height allowed but qualifies the site boundaries creating three transverse strips which are the folded in order to reduce the impact on the urban skyline. We enter from the street, protected under the polycarbonate volume. The lobby becomes the starting point of the promenade and it hosts the most public activities: reception and cafeteria (in continuity with the roof garden). It is conceived as an intermediary space or gap between an excavated solid foundation containing the exhibition hall and the Auditorium and the polycarbonate volume hovering above which contains the most private spaces. 

The facades will be clad with hollow polycarbonate panels. This acts as a ventilated façade ensuring thermal and acoustic insulation thanks to the cells inside the material offering an extra layer of air. The different hues and glittering effects it unfolds and the particular reflection of solar radiation with all its nuances makes this facade an element of unique aesthetics willing to establish a lively relationship with its surroundings. This material is perforated by methacrylate cylinders of colored glass following a pattern of variable density which adds character to the surface, also exposing to the outside the functions and program sheltered inside.