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Building 'A' UPC Besós Campus

Project for the Educational and Research Building located at Besòs Campus, Barcelona

The building has educational and research use with the following layout: the basement is dedicated to the library, on the ground floor we find the auditorium, dining area, and administration. On floors 1-2-3, there are classrooms, while floors 4-5-6 are intended for laboratories. Floors 7-8-9-10 house offices, and the roof contains the air conditioning units.

The project for the new building will comprise two distinct zones: the lower floors (Ground Floor, First and Second) which are organized in a lower volume facing the new central pedestrian walkway, with a larger surface area, and the higher floors (Third to Tenth) which enclose the volume and create a built front along the adjacent streets. The difference will be not only in form but also in function. The first three floors will house more "public" and commonly accessed areas, while the subsequent floors will accommodate laboratories and related elements (rooms and offices).

As a necessary starting point and requirement in a building designed to contain educational uses like this one, it is believed that maximum distribution flexibility should be superimposed on structural rigidity. Thus, from the initial concepts of the competition, the building releases the entire floor from structural elements, concentrating them in its perimeter skin and a single central portal. Therefore, the building functions like a structural skin with vertical elements every 1.50 meters, which essentially function as a load-bearing screen, and cantilevered slabs that bear on this skin. The service core and stairwells (critical elements given the significant occupancy expected in this building program) simultaneously act as both stabilizing elements and as a connection between the two bodies.

This proximity of the structural elements to the facade, coupled with the educational use of the new building, influences its exterior finish (facade), which is designed with a system of blinds that provide external solar protection linked and integrated with the described external structural system. This shading system acts as a barrier to direct sunlight in favorable orientations and allows for the entry of light without direct sun.

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