Alcalá de Henares, Madrid (Spain)
Project and construction management_
Gádor de Carvajal, Juan Casariego, Juan Vicente y Pablo Núñez
To resolve the brief of this highly complex laboratories development, the decision was made to construct two parallel blocks of four storeys above ground with a semi-basement in which the major part of the brief is dealt with, including the research and support areas, and another parallel building semi-sunken in the ground which houses the animal laboratory. A transversal axis of communication and common elements link these three buildings on all floors, providing the different interrelationship requirements as expressed in the functional programme. It is in this element on the ground floor that the main entrance opens up, along with the supplies entrance that is appropriately separated. The two parallel blocks are located towards the western corner of the site, leaving space on the northeastern strip for an above ground car park and the technical building.
The main building relates to a modulated plan, consisting of two parallel rectangular pieces along which the brief is carried out. They are united by a central body which houses the vertical communication core that runs through all the floors, and consists of staircases, lifts and a restricted access goods lift. This core goes down to the level – 2, the level of the animal laboratories, and connects with it via an underground passageway.
The Centre is formally integrated within the campus of Alcalá which is set out with isolated buildings, The use of an outer skin of vertical ceramic slats, the number of which varies depending on the orientation, seeks to maximise energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs.