This project was carried out in collaboration with the studio Carbajal. This collaboration was the result of our plan to work on a shared project that would constitute an enriching experience for both studios that share a common structure (father and two sons) and a similar commitment with the profession.
The building is located on a large block shared with a secondary school, a sports ground, some houses and smaller buildings.
The first decision taken was therefore to organize this block through a small suture so that it became fit to house the great volume that this building constitutes for both the space available, and for the whole town. Two conditions guided this process. On the one hand the obligation to preserve “in situ” and on a depressed ground the remains of a Roman “columbarium” found on the plot.
The other condition was the need to plan for a transit route for the police coaches inside the building. During our visits to the San Severiano neighborhood we found, among other things, a lack of open spaces in comparison with the thick building and narrowness of its streets. All of this made us decide, following a deep analysis of the requirements of the programme and in the light of the great number of independent accesses needed (marriages, court, hospital for forensic medicine, vans for the arrested, parking spaces, etc.) to situate the main entrance on the calle Tolosa Latour, probably the greenest and quietest of the surrounding streets.
A part-underground floor will serve to house the interior traffic and preserve the archeological findings in a garden that will extend the urban space and hold the more playful uses of the project. Thus a square that opens upon this garden will serve as the space for arrival and departure from the building, running below this through an entrance hall of great height.
The basic programme (visitor’s rooms and courts) is housed in a block that is divided into to, and is composed of a ground floor + six floors up to the limit established by townplanning regulations. In the meantime, an independent building recovers the shape for the plot and holds the secondary accesses to the Court on Duty, Child Court, etc.
The lower floors (1, 2 and 3) hold the visitors’ rooms with the public entrance halls lying on the façade behind a veil of ceramic pieces. On the upper floor we find the courts with the entrance halls set back in relation to the façade, thus creating an inner-outer space above which the waiting rooms for the public are situated. In the rest of the building we find the offices.
The façade is created with modular panels made from a sandwich of polyester resin reinforced with fiberglass and interior core of structural foam, all of this supported on galvanized steel sheets and concealed joints.
These modules have been manufactured using naval technology and have a ceramic finish made of panels made through extrusion. All panels are mounted completely finished, with their ceramic coating, the aluminum frames, the glass as well as the horizontal sun-shades, thus making the construction process much cheaper.
In conclusion, this has been a project designed to solve a problem in the programme: easy access with internal paths that are easily identifiable for users and visitors, a building where public traffic is controlled and restricted, that has comfortable spaces and, above all, manages to create some order in the impact housing a building of this kind in the space provided was bound to have.