Status: Competition (2014)
Clasification: Honour mention
Types: Commercial, Foundation, Refurbishment
“Removing rather than adding”
“Timber furniture and turquoise blue”
The current proposal was developed following an interior design competition which aimed to turn the premises of two former shops into a brand new bank branch in Girona’s medieval quarter. The design strategy addressed two main targets.
Firstly, tiding up. The design wanted to communicate and emphasize the character of the existing architecture by unveiling its hidden parts. An intervention which would, therefore, show its architecture as it was and would promote a new reading of its interiors, effectively, as physical witnesses of time. On one hand it would open up a former exterior courtyard and on the other it would display a currently in-filled gothic window. All minor partitions would be pulled down and subsequently a whole range of generous spaces created.
Few but selected pieces of furniture would be located within the premises in order to meet the brief requirements and create a comfortable working place. A high-end selection of robust and hand-crafted furniture which would pursue a more comfortable and tactile feel within the office space. This strategy would also ease any future alterations in order to meet potential new requirements to the branch.
These two main ideas would be brought to reality through a thorough selection criterion so as to reinstate, replace or remove the current parts of the premises.
On the one hand, as mentioned, a double height space which recalled the presence of the former courtyard would be opened up. The old medieval balcony which sits in the upper floor, currently hidden by a cheap suspended ceiling, would be visible again. At that same level and old gothic window would be unveiled and traces of former wall-paint would be rendered visible.
As regards to the removed elements, few 45º cuts would be pierced into the load bearing stone-walls in order to strategically introduce natural light into the darkest areas. This would promote both physical and visual connections with the surrounding public squares.
At a functional level, a central core fitting into the darker area would comprise all services. This scheme would allow for an easy connection of either IT and M&E services. Furthermore, this strategy would allow for a better distribution of both working spaces and breakout spaces, which would now be adjacent to the main openings. All public and semi-private areas would be located at ground floor level, private areas (archive, breakout spaces) upstairs.