Gonsi Sòcrates Building: Embracing Diversity of Purposes

Picharchitects

Architects: Picharachitects
Location: Viladecans, Spain
Area: 6.864,95 m2
Year: 2020
Photography: Aldo Amoretti

This new mixed-use building is located in the Parc d’Activitats de Viladecans. The aim of this project is to build a new building that offers multipurpose spaces for rent, with the ability to embrace the diversity of purposes that were planned. These are complemented by common areas that interact, including parking lots and other services.

The project is a non-limited design that takes into consideration the activities of the tenants. Based on a forecast of the processes needed to build the spaces and its facilities, the project adapts to the tenants’ personal needs.

The building is based on a 10 x 10 m structural matrix that defines a solid volume on the ground floor and is partially emptied on the upper floors. The aim is to create indoor spaces that interact with the outdoors.

The building is oriented towards the C-32 highway. A double façade of perforated sheet metal evokes the chromatic patterns of the orchards that surround the building.

Color is a key feature of the ensemble.

Indoors, the volume is fragmented and emptied, taking on the appearance of floating volumes within a clear structural matrix.

The two lower floors, each with wheeled access, will host heavier activities, like retail or restaurants. The two upper floors, with a central outdoor space, will be used for lighter industries and offices. Each space has visual interaction with the others, through outdoor stairways and views onto the gardens inside the block.

The main access to the building is located on the west corner, welcoming the flow of people coming from downtown Viladecans and surrounding areas.

The upper floor – partially landscaped – will be accessible from the vertical circulation core and will be used as a place to pass the time.

The parking lot, located on the ground floor, will remain open on its northeast and northwest façades. On these façades, the surrounding terrain will be milled to leave space for green slopes that will provide a natural transition from the interior garden to the parking lot.

The complex has been designed based on the criteria of the circular economy. We consider the building to be a bank of materials: none of the structure is permanent or immobile; it can always be dismantled to be replaced, recycled, reused or transformed into a biological nutrient that returns to nature.

During the design phase, constant interaction with the construction team ensured an in-depth knowledge of the materials: their composition, environmental impact, recycling possibilities and waste control.