MADRID – Campus Repsol by Rafael de La-Hoz Architects was recently completed in Madrid, Spain.
It is a business school campus with four buildings ‘cloistered’ around a landscaped courtyard.
The building form is composed of two main elements: steel fins and glass volumes.
Steel fins ‘hang’ on the structural columns and enclose glass volumes within them. The fins are relatively thin, with a 20cm thickness, and create a slim profile against the volumes they encase. The slimness of the fins makes them look lightweight and creates a transparency with views through the building elements. The steel fins are made more interesting by the fact that it is difficult to tell whether they are structural elements or not. Their repetition creates dynamism in the façade and contrast with the smoothness of the tinted glass behind them.
Shifting, glass-clad volumes contain the occupied spaces of the building and reveal its structure. They also create shaded overhangs for pedestrians below and boost the visual dynamism of the building.
The landscaped courtyard is an environmentally diverse space with areas of sun, shade, hardscape and vegetation. Providing this outdoor variation means many people will feel satisfied with the environment in the courtyard, since they will have a range of experiences to choose from. During summer for example, people will likely opt to stay in the shade, while in winter they may prefer a sunnier spot. Giving people environmental choices increases their feelings of comfort, perceived control and satisfaction with their surroundings.
The courtyard also acts as circulation area between the four buildings which makes it the ideal place for people to bump into each other, chat and – especially at a business school – network.
Photos courtesy of Alfonso Quiroga