SOMOS.arquitectos proposal for the new headquarters of the Miño-Sil River Basin Authority.

The conditions and requirements given in the competition for the new headquarters of the Miño-Sil Hydrographic Confederation gives us the chance to create a new landmark for the city. Located in one of the entrance areas to Ourense, this volume stands out from the urban environment with an eleven-storey tower which rises 55 meters above ground.

Based on the competition program, the height between the different slabs can increase or decrease. In parallel, the ground surface varies to accommodate each part. Thus, circular slabs with different diameters and positions slide in relation to the vertical axis, forming a tower made up of displaced rings generating an extruded volume that takes a unique dynamism: a sequence of freely rotating hula- hoops. The building structure is configured as a circular inner ring in concrete, housing vertical communications and installations.

While the outer ring hosts the office program, within the structural ring we have a greater spatial freedom. Elevators and stairs are located within this structural ring, giving access to the areas outside or inside of it, depending on our needs. The void inside the core of the tower is transformed into a vertical sequence of hall areas and meeting rooms, all double or triple height volumes acting as welcome areas to each of the program packages.

In this way, we are proposing two different programmatic scales: a first array of functions packed around the outer perimeter and a second volume of meeting spaces contained within the inner core, both linked through the internal circulation system of the structural ring which allows both horizontal and vertical connections.

In regard to the outer “skin”, we are using two different envelopes: an inner one made up of structural glass curtain wall stitching the edges of each slab and an outside one made of aluminum lattice which acts as a solar and visual protector, providing an abstract and changing image to the city, marked only by the edges of each slab that give a scale reference for the whole volume. .