The project seeks to maintain the existing building as much as possible, as well as enhancing the value of its inherent construction properties. The proposal intends to expand on the official proposed conservation plan by committing to international standards, where preservation goes beyond the façade and undertakes virtually the whole building. The idea is to go further than the maintenance of the existing structure; the project seeks to preserve its ‘essence’. All the new additional construction elements are set up in harmony within the space, being discreet and allowing the prevailing characteristics to stand out.
The existing construction operated like three separate buildings, with no connection between them, and it had been abandoned for a few years. Its structural stability was compromised due to uneven settling of the foundation. In response to these conditions the project supports the idea of extracting the central part of the building; by generating a central patio, the mass of the building is reduced and therefore subsidence differences are controlled. By correcting the load of the structure, the new patio can operate as a new central circulation and as a ventilation system, which helps the building to function as an efficient unit.
CH-REURBANO is a mixed-use building in a city where this type of building is not allowed in many of its areas. Taking advantage of the preexistence of those different uses over time, a legal argument was made to maintain the old permit and incorporate mixed uses into the current layout. A similar argument allowed us not to provide dozens of parking spaces: it is a building where cars are not welcomed in a city that is addicted to them.
The ground floor is dedicated to commercial spaces that enliven the street, inhabit it, and increase security. The first floor is occupied by small-format offices: mainly start- ups and entrepreneurs. The second and third floors are apartments of various sizes and configurations. Finally, the roof plan is occupied by an urban garden.
The project is an exploration of an essential architecture: highlighting what is essential and removing what is not necessary. The project seeks out a harmonic relationship between the new and the old.