The Veracruz Architects Association launched a design competition for its new headquarters in Cordoba, Veracruz. The program consists of offices, a conference room, a multipurpose room and parking area. The site is located in Cordoba's downtown area, the polygonal complex geometry as well as the steep slope adds some extra conditions to the project.
The second prize has been awarded to lab07 + JMV Architects whose project form has been derived directly from its functions. The architects have responded with a very simple structure which reacts not only to the architecture but also the urbanism, which was their initial intention.
The site analysis, the program, the circulation all sculpted the building win various ways. Despite the constraints of the site, a small budget led the architects to rethink the strategies in order to meet all the requirements and needs. As a result the submersion into the ground is minimal whilst the design takes advantage of the existing topography.
One of the main features of the project was to break the relationship of institutional buildings to its immediate context. Instead the design becomes a built space that opens up to the city, creating public spaces between the building and the surrounding urban environment.
The public square becomes an urban vestibule that works as the modular zone connecting the various interior spaces. The project is characterised by a complete accessibility with ramps and stairways.
Formally, instead of placing the volumes on top of each other, the east and west faces of the volume slide to the north and south. This creates favourable positioning and porosity which improves the performance and flexibility of the institution.
The design has been sustainable is the use of the natural architecture resources; like cross-ventilation, orientation, site materials, less excavation. The architects believed the use of these features properly will lead to a more sustainable building.