Client: Ayuntamiento de Valencia
Status: Competition (2021)
Clasification: 1 prize
Location: Valencia, Spain
Coordinates: 39.462525, -0.393866
Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean
Materials: Glass, Metal
Budget: 4.600.000 €
Scale: 2.150 ㎡ Medium
Ratio: 2.139,53 €/㎡
Types: Civic center, Institutional
It has been 150 years since the incorporation of Patraix into the City Council of Valencia, and the sense of belonging and community characteristic of a small village have not disappeared from its streets, and it has become part of the character of new generations of neighbours and of the population that moved to the district with the urban expansion of Valencia in the last century.
This is the origin of the relevance of a historic claim of the neighbours to create their own civic centre, which has been translated into an architectural competition, followed by a process of public hearing and citizen participation that will allow the future users to decide the building’s uses.
The lack of definition of the proposed programme led us, therefore, to work on defining three aspects: the urban implementation, the structural and constructive conditions of the building and its bioclimatic behaviour, ensuring that the spaces that will house the different activities of the centre will be defined and configured in this participation process.
The site occupies a central position in the district, between its historic centre and more recent buildings. It is located in the midpoint of the pedestrian route between Plaza de Patraix and Enrique Granados Park, which leads us to consider the access and main façade of the building from the east, facing these pedestrian routes and the historical part of the district.
On the other hand, it shares the plot with another facility that hosts several services that can create synergies with the new programme. Morphologically, this building stands out for its vertical development and for a party wall of strong visual impact, which leads us to plan the new building in continuity with it, developing it in height, allowing us to free up ground floor space while respecting the existing trees and avoiding generating shade on the south façade and the green area outside the nearby building, currently used by the elderly.
It is conceived as an extension of the public space. The central part hosts the access and the beginning of the vertical open connection with the rest of the floors. The northern area, a transparent space dedicated to exhibitions with views of Avenida Salabert, while the southern area hosts a space for public events that opens onto the outdoor area with trees, allowing the interaction of indoor and outdoor uses.
This is a bioclimatic space that regulates the temperature of the rooms in a passive way and at the same time connects spatially and visually the exterior public space with the interior and the roof. It becomes a meeting place that contains the staircase, the corridors and open multi-purpose spaces at double height.
Located in the party wall and solving thermally, urban and constructively the contact with the contiguous building. It houses the bathrooms on each floor, the general installations area, two lifts and a protected staircase that complements the main staircase and provides a direct connection between floors.
These are spaces which can be easily changed over time according to the needs of the users. Two types of spaces are generated, with spans of 9m and 6m respectively, to meet different spatial needs. At the same time, these spaces can be easily divided by means of moving walls.
The top of the building becomes the centre of leisure, cultural and social activity. It is a covered space with green energy production systems and, among others, a garden where the existing urban vegetable gardens are relocated.
Reduction of the form factor
A volume of maximum compactness is proposed, reducing the number of facades and avoiding disaggregation. The modularity and seriation of the construction elements reduces the number of constructive solutions to a minimum and contributes to the unified climatic behaviour of the building.
Bioclimatic double skin
An interior façade with high thermal inertia and an exterior façade made up of mobile industrial panels that allow or prevent heat gain depending on the external climatic conditions.
The vertical agora and the roof become covered outdoor spaces where basic comfort is obtained without the need to use active systems and their temperature helps to thermally regulate the interior rooms. The roof, like the exterior façade, has openings at its highest point that generate natural air flows and help to remove or retain heat.
Thermal inertia of the structure
A reinforced concrete structure with regular structural spans of 6m and 9m has been designed with the aim of ensuring a constructive element with a long useful life, low cost and high thermal inertia that allows the interior temperature of the building to remain stable.
Renewable energy sources
The shape of the roof allows the incorporation of a large number of photovoltaic panels which, given the low energy demand of the building, can also serve the neighbouring building.
Solar protection elements
Both the outer skin of the façade and the roof have retractable textile elements that prevent direct sunlight from reaching the spaces during the central hours of the day and allow lighting control.
Reused materials with a low carbon footprint are proposed. The interior façades of the building are designed with lightweight timber framing with OSB boards, double layer of insulation and exterior finish with plywood panels.
All the in-between spaces, especially the roof, are landscaped, favouring the entry of nature into the building and improving the comfort of the spaces by adjusting the humidity gradient.
Efficient management of the water cycle
Reducing demand, with the efficiency of the systems incorporated, by capturing 100% of the roof surface and using it, together with recycled grey water, for cisterns and irrigation.
Automated control systems
So that the double skin, the roof and the active systems are coordinated to prioritise the passive operation of the building and minimise the use of non-renewable energy.