Arribe Atallo. Council House and Fronton | VAUMM arquitectura y urbanismo

Contemporary architecture can be constructed in a rural environment. And if it is possible under that codes it must be done. This one is the point of take-off of this project.

In June, 2005 Arribe-Atallu’s Town council summoned a contest for the accomplishment of a fronton and a building that was solving a small administrative program, in which we turn out to be winning.


The narrow and pronounced valley of the river Araitz forms a rural environment of meadows and groves, which are presided by the rocky summits of the mountains that surround it, named “maioak”, they are a visual and sentimental modal for the inhabitants of the cores of the valley. He structures this one of the landscape, provides it with a certain bucolic and even romantic character, making alike it to an Alpine valley of high mountain. The buildings are relegated to the bottom of the valley in which stand out the vernacular constructions of generous proportions, with big volumes and covers to two waters spread in the landscape, which agglutinate the uses of housing and the agro-cattle activity inside a compact building.

The lot former occupied by a position of rest and supply for wagons of transport in the former line between Toulouse and Pamplona, thinks afoot of the road that it passes parallel to the river, which is the principal artery of the valley, for what beside presenting a pronounced difference it was supporting the soterramiento of a creek of mountain that was crossing the plot.

The project looks for a continuity with the architecture and the configuration of the landscape of the environment, from an architectural current language, so much in what to the formal configuration of the program refers, since to the material conformation of the same one, since to his insertion in such a certain landscape. This way the volume of the fronton sinks taking advantage of both blind walls, necessary for the game of the ball as walls of containment, and incorporating the difference created like graderío for the spectators, proving thus, a minor’s volume I impress whose cover talks with the traditional covers of the hamlets of the valley.

The building of the council, there is solved in a small volume that he respects the height of cornice of the fronton, dividing the administrative program in two plants, low one supported against the realized excavation and other one that presents a modern re-reading of the agricultural pavilion supported at a height of the contiguous meadow. Both buildings incorporate the wood, a vernacular material of great importance in the zone, from a current configuration, raising continuities so much with the structures of studding typical of the buildings of the valley, solved in the fronton by means of metallic structures, since with the closings of paneling of the agricultural pavilions, solved now by means of a parquet floor of red cedar.

In addition both buildings claim his social character organizing a minimal public space, close to the creek which former tracing to opened sky we recover, by means of almost iconographic elements since it are the balcony of the town hall, the porch typical of the public buildings of the rainy north, or the night lighting that across the revealed fronts introduces a discontinuity in the linearity of the valley.

Work: Arribe Atallo. Council House and Fronton
Location: Arribe-Atallu, Araitz, Navarrra, País Vasco, España
Authors: VAUMM arquitectura y urbanismo [Iñigo García Odiaga, Javier Ubillos, Jon Muniategiandikoetxea, Marta Alvarez and Tomás Valenciano]
Collaborators: Mitxel Tomasena, master builder
Promoter: Concejos unidos Arribe-Atallo
Year: 2005-2007
Superface: 1.200 m2
Budget: 750.000€
Photography: Aitor Ortiz

+ Award
– Contest of ideas 1 º reward.
– Finalist in the prizes Arquia Próxima 2010: On the other hand

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