This building is the result of winning a public competition called by EMVSA in el año 2013.
The premises of the contest:
1. Create abuilding with presence. At first the competition proposed the options of making a hidden or buried building on the slope. Our choice was to create a visible building, proud of himself and that would contribute to improve the urban conditions of their environment.
2. Anexempt and reversible building, which relates with the existing quarry. With a prefabricated structure, considering that it is an administrative concession (75 years), will allow to reuse in a future the plot in a simple way leaving the quarry in sight.
3. Raise the core exempt from the parking building to be used by all users and pedestrians 24 hours a day, solving a current vertical accessibility problem at the site.
4. Create a public square on the deck with great views of the Burgo Estuary to provide the area of public spaces that currently did not have.
5. Connect the parking lot with the hospital which is across the highway access to the city, thus saving a barrier that historically difficult the connection the Maternity Hospital with this area of the city, and which generated a problem for people with reduced mobility and families with baby carriages.
6. Create an efficient building, for this propose we create a exempt with all its facades building ventilated, avoiding extractions forced smoke and solving similarly natural lighting.
7. Develop a very low cost constructive system, considering the feasibility of the investment, designing a modular precast concrete building with 7.50 m bays and facades with lacquered galvanized aluminum tubes.
8. A low maintenance cost building, designed with materials such as lacquered aluminum with neoprene gasket to avoid galvanic pair, galvanized railings of tramex due to saline environment and a facade with precast concrete panels.
The plot of land sits on a urban periphery area subject of strong tensions and a degradation process, but also situated in a privileged location overlooking the Burgo Estuary, the plot was meant to implant a building to solve the serious problem of parking shortage spaces of two public hospitals, and at the same time, a challenge and an opportunity.
The challenge of obtaining a radically functional building that fits to the steep slopes which the topography imposed, and the opportunity to value the unique location with an architectural proposal which, by its nature, could become a cornerstone for urban and environmental regeneration of the Xubias environment.
Indeed, the plot was a residual space, a large rock slope and vegetation generated by the road that connects two areas at different level, with a total drop of up to 15,00 m. The road surrounds the plot from the southeast end, which is its lowest point, skirting the east, north and west, reaching its highest point in the southwest corner.
At the upper zone is located the Oncological Center, and at the lower the Maternity and Children´s Hospital, across the Avenida del Pasaje (AC-12), one of the main traffic arteries of access to A Coruna.
The fundamental aspect of the proposal was to occupy the full height space of the slope, which is replaced by the new building, so that the top floor, which is also the deck, is to level the upper section of the road, and the lower floor is at level of the lower section. Under these conditions, the building opens its façade facing east to the magnificent views of the Burgo Estuary. The necessary rock excavation helped the execution and allowed to leave the vertical rock wall exposed. In fact, the building does not touch the rock wall, creating an empty space that contributes decisively with sanitation and natural ventilation of parking.
Contact with the ascending road allowed the natural integration with it, and raise different vehicular access in and out from the east (bottom, floors 0 and 2) and west (top, floor 5). At the same time, connections to the surrounding road network were readjusted, rationalizing to improve safety and comfort in traffic, providing speacial lanes to access.
The project also includes the surrounding area, to adapt the environment to the existence of the new car park, providing safe and attractive pedestrian routes to the two health centers, and allowing easy communication between them. The approach has been to integrate the south staircase and elevator core, which is also a lookout, as a public space and gives full accessibility and safety for pedestrian traffic routes in the area. The new building not only meets the needs of parking, but also improves urban mobility, to become a piece of suture between two areas whose communication was until then problematic.
Pedestrian access from the Oncological Center is done through a new public square that is created between the Center and the car park, which communicates with the upper floor, with direct access to the southern staircase and elevator core. Pedestrian access to Maternal and Child Hospital is now done from the 2nd floor of the same core, through a gateway, saving the access road, it connects with the flyover on Avenida del Pasaje.
This arrangement, necessary because of the topography of the environment with steep slopes, it is essential to substantially increase safety and comfort in pedestrian traffic. Let us not forget that users of the two health centers are oncological patients, children and mothers, ie, a health population for whom the use of wheelchairs, carts and several impediments is more abundant than in other cases.
The building consists of five floors (0, 1, 2, 3, 4), all rectangular in shape and with the same distributive scheme. The top is the cover (4), also for parking. Under these conditions, the west side of the building is in a position of basement area, against the vertical rock excavation, without touching it, but the east side is an open front side facade to the landscape of the estuary. Thus, the building enjoys excellent views and a complete natural cross-ventilation, which eliminates the need of mechanical ventilation.
The plants are divided by the longitudinal axis of the building, on two levels with a difference in height of 1.60 m, creating a system of staggered half floors, with 3.20 m in height between them. In this longitudinal axis, overcoming the height difference between the means plants, are located the vehicle ramps in the parking area, and pedestrian stairs in vertical communication cores.
The building consists of a large central body that houses the parking itself, standing at opposite ends the vertical communication cores for pedestrians. Between both cores and parking, open courtyards throughout the height complete natural ventilation and spatially order the set.
Communication between vertical cores and parking is via footbridges that cross the open courtyards and are also viewpoints over the river.
Parking is designed according to a canonical scheme central street and car parking spaces on both sides, with optimal ratio of m2/parking space. All parking spaces are 5.00 x 2.50 m, counting the disabled and family parking spaces with the regulatory widths. It has a total capacity of 366, of which 38 are disabled and 20 families.
Vehicular traffic is streamlined to be identical in all floors, at all times allowing the perfect orientation of the user and location of exits. Pedestrian traffic by parking area is fully marked and recognizable, as in all floors and connected clearly to the stairways. In the south core, being the closest to both health centers, are located the lift and toilets, as well as utility rooms and facilities. Also adjacent to this core the disabled and family parking spaces are grouped in all plants. On the top floor, with outdoor parking, pedestrian traffic is protected by a covered path along its entire length. The building, in its entirety, has a useful area of 9,890 m2 and a floor area of 10,675 m2.
The facade expresses the volume and functionality of the building, and looks for visual integration into the slope that serves as a location. At the two lower floors of parking, which absorb the inclination of the road, they are given a treatment as a base with a façade of prefabricated concrete panels with a grooved surface finish. For the rest of the facade light lattices, which enables the view from the inside out to enjoy the scenery, and hide the view from the outside to the inside, hiding vehicles, and maintaining the conditions of natural ventilation.
The main lattice consists of tubular profiles of rectangular section, lacquered aluminum in different colors, mounted vertically from floor to floor. Galvanized steel tramex are disposed for the lattice and railings in areas of walkways, ramps, stairs and terraces. In both cases the facade provides the appropriate protection for marine environment.
This building is the result of the award of a public competition on a low budget, and its construction has been developed over a period of crisis. Based on the modest budget, it was intended to make virtue of necessity, so that the economy of the work was not an obstacle but an incentive to achieve an architectural quality that relies on rationality, functionality to extreme, in the careful choice of materials, the volumetric harmony and the will of environmental regeneration.
Project: Oncologic Center of Galicia and Children’s and Maternity Hospital parking
Location: A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Authors: Díaz y Díaz Arquitectos [Lucas Díaz Sierra, Gustavo Díaz García] with Rafael Ángel Otero Mosquera
Client: EMVSA. Empresa municipal de vivienda, servicios y actividades, S.A.
Area: 10000 m²
Photography: Héctor Santos-Díez | BISimages