NOAIN TOWN HALL
Traditionally, town halls had a strong institutional character, so their presence was severe and somewhat hieratic. Over time, and as they began to house other functions and become centres for meetings and relationships between citizens, their image softened, and their architecture became friendlier. Nowadays, already inscribed in the XXI century, the town hall, as a reflection of the will and public interests, must become a model of interaction with the environment providing mechanisms of response to the energy challenges that await us. The authorities of Noain, aware of this, implemented the Agenda XXI program some years ago in the municipality. As a consequence, an Ideas Competition was announced for the construction of the new Town Hall, of which this project was the winner.
The building's site presents a clash between two contexts: on one side, the built environment, which leads to a hard and extensive square. On the other side, the natural environment, with a park that grows to the south. The square and the park turn their backs to each other, being separated by an asphalt belt. The new Town Hall aims to serve as a link between the two contexts, diluting their limits. To this end, it is materialized as a built hybrid that assimilates the opposing characters that converge here, which produces a certain 'osmosis' of the building with the place. The result is not intended to be mimetic or rupturing but an 'infiltration' installed by common agreement between the two contexts.
The building is generated through a superposition of envelopes. The interior, of rigorous geometry, is formed by a double translucent skin. Superimposed on it is an organic metal lattice through which the vegetation grows, a 'cloud' that varies in density and colours throughout the year. The canvas or vegetal background is made up of the virgin vine: a plant that climbs and covers the facade in summer, acquires spectacular reddish tones in autumn, and, being deciduous, it lets the sunlight through in winter. As a living organism, the building sinks its roots into the ground and obtains geothermal energy to supply its heating and cooling needs. All the building's systems are regulated and interrelated to minimize energy and maintenance costs. The building has undergone an energy qualification study, resulting in up to 60% savings.
The building is a living entity in relentless transformation; a body perceived, not as something inert, but as a landscape that transforms, marking the course of the days and the seasons; in short, an index of daily life and the life cycles of the citizens.