area 100 | changing cities

architect: Juan Navarro Baldeweg

location: Merida, Spain

year: 19921995

The site inspired a building of great formal simplicity whose image fit naturally between the nucleus formed by the historic Alcazaba fortress and the Roman bridge, on the one hand, and the plaza located at the edn of the modern bridge built by Santiago Calatrava, on the other. This image was intentionally designed to connect the two nuclei and to create, with them, a vital whole. The building dominates a large portino of the city’s skyline as seen from the other side of the Guadiana River, forming part of the a distant horizon. Hence the need for a starck, clear image that could stands out from a distance. The three glazed terraces or voids cut into the prismatic solid serve as visibile partition between the administrative departments and highlight and the sense of frontality of the facade. The openings on the upper floors are grouped around these three concavities. The rest of the upper wall, which is blind reaffirms the building’s formal purity. Its volumetric definition harmonizes with the simple forms of the Alcazaba. Special attention was given to the building’s contact with the ground. The discovery of the site during the execution project, of valauble remains from the Roman era led to a reconsideration of the initial structure of the ensemble which was substituted for another that could bridge the excavation site. The building was thus made to coexist with the archeological deposit. In structural terms, this required a reduced number of supports. On the ground level, zones of archeological reserve were created. Patios were also opended and aligned paralel to the roman road in order to illuminate the ground floor and shed light over the archeological remain. In this way, the form of the administration building, which respond to the impulse that emerges from the ground, appears to float freely over the site.

project: Presidencia y 4 Cosejerias de la Junta de Extremadura
location: Mérida, Badajoz, Spain
architect: Juan Navarro Baldeweg
collaborators: Franz Bucher, Rolf Brülisauer, J. Joaquin Lozasoain Urcola, Veronica Scortecci, Paul Soler Serratosa, Lorenz Baumann, José Gutierrez de Churtichaga, Enrique Pujana Bambó, Miguel Rodriguez Gonzalez, Jorge Meijide Tomas, Christopher Guest, Andrea Lupberger, Alvaro Galmés Cerezo
date: 1988 (competition), 1992-1995 (construction)
programm: uffici
built surface: 22.000 mq
structure: Julio Martinez Calzón, Juan de la Torre
construction supervision: Juan Navarro Baldeweg with Franz Bucher y Rolf Brülisauer
builders: Ferrovial
plant: Eduardo Gonzalez Velayos, Miguel Lazaro Mendez
photos: Duccio Malagamba