The present proposal develops the winning proposal of the competition in two parts, Project and Construction, promoted by the European Community Agencies “Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM)”, responsible for Patents and Brands in the EU Market. The project enlarges its current headquarters in Spain, located on the outskirts of Alicante, including the realisation of a new Office building for 500 hundred employees, a Congress Centre – that contains an auditorium for 450 users- and a new Reception and Welcome Building which makes up the group; the whole urbanization of the new campus is also included.
The choice of model for the office building is principally based on two requirements: the need to be flexible and allow adaptation to the Agency’s changing needs; and, on the other hand, to assist the diversity making possible the creation of different areas inside a relation of continuity. For that, it is proposed a building defined by two pieces whose galleries measure 12,50m, both connected through a garden facing the sea. The walkways which connect the two pieces take on a special importance as points of relation and exchange, destined to favor informal meetings between different areas.
Reception Building and Congress Centre.
The Reception and Welcome building is presented as a backdrop that gathers the volumes which form the current access, creating a new façade –continuous and fragmented at the same time- that welcomes the visitor in a clear embracing gesture. With a variable height, it presents its larger scale in the entrance zone, where a deep projection announces the entry to the building. The Congress Centre is located below-ground, and it has been designed so as to allow natural light inside the area, an excavated architecture.
The urbanization has been designed as an extensive landscape charged with uniting the different interventions. The point is to make the limits of the plot less evident by manipulating their topography and the massing of vegetation, and allowing the construction of open air rooms –which will shelter diverse programs, such as a picnic area or the ecopark- within a relation of continuity. The built garden defines the layout of green masses in order to control wind and introduce visual and physical barriers when required, while the chromatic garden combines species with different flowering period to emphasize its mutability, repeating in this way a concept of lightness in the face of the strong presence of the existing architecture.