Heritage and politics collide...

Monday 11 Feb 2013

Glass skin redefines 19th century building which is reborn as commercial headquarters

Spanish architectural firm Otxotorena Arquitectos has completed an extensive refit scheme which has transformed a historic building into the headquarters of the Parliament of Navarra. The project aimed to restore the architecture of the nineteenth century Audencia Building of Pamplona while creating new areas for the regional government and the public.

Covering an area of 11,062 sq m and costing approximately €9m, the building was initially earmarked as the new headquarters in 2002. The most striking aspect of the parliament building is the new glass skin which allows the design of the original building to be seen and according to the architect, this union of the new and the old was 'the basis of this project'.

These units of glass are suspended on a series of metallic hangers and beams made of carbon and stainless steel, with some of the stainless steel supports perforated to allow light to pass through. As well as careful attention to the exterior design, special care was also paid to the reconfiguration of the interior space. The central spaces have been designed for ‘representative uses’ with a large open atrium to make the most of the glass skin and the opening up of the central areas.

On the top floors are the more administrative and political offices with the presidency area situated on the first floor. The first floor is conceived as the 'noble floor' and also contains the areas for the Judicial Services, lawyers and Intervention services. Elsewhere,the ground floor has been redesigned to create spaces for public use, such as a new library, a general enquiries desk and a press conference room, with the lower ground floor containing a storage space and service area with a cafeteria, book depository, filing room and changing rooms.

Naomi Wilcock

Key Facts:

Civic Buildings Urban design

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