UNIVERSITY CAMPUS IN TORTOSA. UNIVERSITAT ROVIRA I VIRGILI
Halfway between the park and the city, the new building brings together several colleges and aims to make possible the transition between the natural and the urban. On the one hand, it can be discovered between the trees as a small fragmented piece allowing an easy integration with the surrounding park. But, on the other hand, it is able to offer a more compact urban façade that binds with the urban topography reaching the usual height of the city.
The new campus wants to be the park’s gate, something that gives meaning to the beginning or the end. Visible from the castle and the bridge is recognizable not by its size but its ability to respond to the different areas where it is located. From the top of the city the roof becomes a characteristic element. A roof visible in small dimensions that aims, as another façade, to interact with the surrounding area.
The building’s floor is fragmented to obtain the required perimeter for the program disposition and at the same time improve its circulation. Unlike a barrier building would represent, this distribution improves the diagonal itineraries and sets relations from the park towards the main street and from the city towards the new fairgrounds. So, while in relation to park its section terraces looking for continuity, at the rear façade the building gives an answer to the important dimension of the existing Congress Fair. The floor organization avoids conventional orthogonality and search the use of two main directions derived from the context and the relationship with neighbor buildings.
Its organization avoids the traditional scheme with long corridors serving rows of classrooms where there is usually a significant imbalance between the dimension of these corridors and their use. This type of organization can configure a good disposition of the program requested. Two optimal bays are established for each use, grouping them by different subject areas, reducing the internal circulation, avoiding corridors and generating different places or small spaces for relation. Between these areas and the ones with a specific use located next to the façade, an element of variable thickness which incorporates technical services serves as transition. These server spaces contains lockers, small offices, toilets, installations, etc.., enhance the sound isolation and improve the use of these common places as small spaces of social activity. The double-axis and the variable geometry of the floor generate small squares and meeting places. The ceiling height and the variability of natural light through the proposed skylights contribute to the perception of these spaces as interior streets.
In section, the program which is more open and public stands on the ground floor, incorporating the hall and a space for exhibitions, the library connected with computer spaces, the study hall and the bar. The floors lose surface gradually, in coherence with the program but also trying to find an appropriate level of relationship with the park and generating outdoor terraces.
Outwards, we thought a modular system that ensures the continuity of the façade while fits different treatments for each orientation and specific needs of users in places where solar control is especially needed. This is the aspect that we want to highlight, in the way that we search for the continuity of the texture combining with the specificity of each orientation and programmatic requirements. One variant with holes on the type panel is placed in front of the windows in most of the classrooms and offices in the form of jealousy. In big classrooms and other pieces with important dimensions one of the last panels is removed to allow a direct relationship with the outside. The constructive solution of the facade is determined as a ventilated façade with concrete panel in large format (modules of 4.20 meters height x 1.20 meters in width).