The Benjamin Jarnés Library, located in the Actur District, had an insufficient surface to carry out its function. So based on a recommendation from the Board of trustees of Zaragoza, it was proposed the construction of a new socio-cultural building where the library was to be relocated.
Following principles of rationality and economy of human and material resources, it was agreed the creation of a building that could host a centre for the elderly and the Benjamin Jamés Library. Located in the intersection of Pedro Lain Entralgo Gomez de Avellaneda Street, the Elderly Centre and Library is presented to its surroundings as an envrironmentally adapted urban element.
It was also decided that a building that provides environmental comfort should not disregard the standards of environmental excellence. Thus, there were implemented bioclimatic architecture methods such as a ventilated facade, solar heating system for heating and AC system, woodwork with thermal bridge breaks and solar shading systems.
The volume consists of three levels and a basement, and uses prefabrication to minimise construction time, cost, and error. it organizes around an open central court, that house the vertical communication elements and provide the building with enough daylight. Service areas are organized vertically aiming to reduce costs and simplifying the crossing of installations.
Rooms intended for the elderly were located close to the street level facilitating their access. The main entrance to the building occurs through a porch located on the north corner in Pedro Lain Entralgo Street. The lobby acts as a big space communicating the interior of the building with the two parallel streets and creating a continuation of the outer public space into the building. The assembly hall is situated close to the main entrance, next to a multipurpose room that offers the possibility to host activities in connection to the main auditorium.
The library is positioned on the north side of the building ensuring appropriate illumination to its rooms. It occupies portions of the first and second floor, communicated through a double height space where the busiest parts of the program are located. The study room, on the other side, sits towards on the side in a more calm environment.
Another characteristic of the project is its adaptability and flexibility. Due to its organisation, it is possible to open/close rooms without interfering with the general circulation of the building.
The areas of the building aimed for the elderly are located on the lower levels; the dynamic room on the basement, the assembly hall on the ground floor, and lecture rooms and workshops on the second. Classrooms and workshops are divided through adjustable partitions that provide flexible environments.
As mentioned before, the external face of the building consists of a ventilated facade with binding wood-cement (concrete) boards type VIROC with natural finished and steelwork with thermal bridge breaks.
The minimal number of openings on the façade allows for a higher degree of climatic control within the building. The courtyard, on the other hand, allows for bigger openings through a curtain wall system with thermal bridge breaks and low E-coating glass.