Architecture

SINAPSIS

MARIA ISOLDA ELIAS, LUISINA SANT SILES
Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Tucumán
Argentina

Project idea

The rural commune of Cebil Redondo, located in Tucumán, Argentina, is an area experiencing exponential growth, which represents both, an opportunity and a need for an urban planning that allows the orderly development, leading to the transition from a rural commune to a municipality. The project aims not only to improve the quality of life but also to establish a distinct identity throughout the process. The City Hall building was designed as the starting point of this urban transition; situated in a civic park, its formal composition is a reinterpretation of the colonial concept of a central square surrounded by important public buildings, characteristic of Latin American countries.
The plot of land on which it is located has rectangular proportions in a 1:3 ratio. First, we subdivided it into 3 parcels or squares, representing each one the different stages of life: childhood, adulthood and eld. Each of them has functions and activities related to one of these stages. At the central plot or “adulthood square” is situated the City Hall, which consists in two rectangle volumes (servant spaces) connected by a central building as bridge (served space).
Beneath this structure, a large atrium was designed as a transitional space providing access to the building, as well as to community and recreational activities, merging the landscape and the building into a unified whole.
The design of the building draws inspiration from the prevalent gabled roof style in the area. It is divided in two planes, which are rotated 20° in opposite directions, extruded in order to become volumes, and embedded in the ground to be situated, allowing to discover, in the perspective, once again the inclined roof from which it derives its inspiration. Finally, to connect them, a suspended central volume is positioned as a bridge.

Project description

The construction is composed of 3 masses, organized in 3 levels, ground floor, first and second floor, plus a terrace and 2 basement levels.

-6m Basement Level: This level accommodates facilities such as changing rooms, storage areas, and restroom, serving the auditorium located on the level above.

-3m Basement Level: This level consists on a central dry square acting as an atrium, from where you can access to all the 3 sections, central, north and south.
In the central area, the main function is the auditorium, designed to be versatile, allowing the audience to seat indoors or outdoors. Adjacent to it, there are spaces for workshops, a bar and shops, with modular movable panels that gives the flexibility to adapt the space according to functional needs. Additionally, there is a small outdoor stage for public use. In the south volume is the parking along with services and maintenances areas, and a secondary pedestrian entrance to the municipal building. You can find the main entrance to the north building on this level, designed as a double-height open floor, featuring the reception and an exhibition room or art gallery, as well as the stairs and elevator.

Ground Floor: Locates the main entrance to the south building; which shape comes from detaching and rotating one of the walls. Between this wall and the rest of the building a glass volume was Interposed that creates a triple-height space with zenithal lighting. At the center of this space, a glass elevator acts as the main circulation core. This open floor includes also the reception, a cafe and staircases leading to other floors.

1st and 2nd Floor: The lateral volumes have facilities such as storage and archive rooms, restrooms and spaces for rest and recreation, as well as vertical circulation cores serving the municipal offices located in the central volume (The Bridge). The central building is designed as a single open and flexible space, based on modules that allow merging, dividing, and subdividing, in order to adapt to changes as well as addition of functions. Both floors share a double-height internal courtyard.
Terrace: Accessible via a staircase, the terrace is designed as a recreational space for the office workers.

Technical information

Inspired by the existing constructions surrounding the place and aiming to give to the municipality an aesthetic identity, brick was chosen as the primary material, used in various forms, patterns, and textures in the building, the park and even in the furnishings.

The City Hall has two structural typologies:
On the one hand, the servant buildings (North and South) as well as the basement employ a more traditional construction solution, featuring a reinforced concrete skeleton structure with double masonry enclosure, complemented by brick floors and ceilings. On the other hand, on the central volume (The Bridge) the construction method consisted of two longitudinal Vierendeel beams, linked by “U” form steel beam, with glass enclosures, complemented by a brick filter which provides climate control, privacy and allows the entrance of filtered natural light to the interior, serving as both a design and functional resource.

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