Once on the surface, the emerging stratum is excavated to house the different spaces. These are divided into four zones according to their degrees of privacy and use. On the one hand, two large retaining walls extend outwards to mark the entrance and separate the public spaces (differentiated as administrative and multipurpose areas) from the private ones. While the latter are articulated around two corridors of great width, their diversity assists in spatially orienting visitors. These spaces are conceived as the most important "rooms" with therapeutic functioning in the Center. From each of them, the rest of the private spaces can be accessed. One provides access to the most frequently used rooms (classrooms, geriatric bathrooms, courtyards), and the other to the lesser-used spaces (dining area, rest area). All of them are designed according to the specific needs of people with Alzheimer's disease. Thus, it is designed with a clear and resounding scheme that optimizes the operation of the building, allowing for simple, simultaneous and independent use of the different areas, and a maximized use of its energy resources.
Inside the building, a great significance is given to the design elements that help to qualify the space and make it more recognizable and comfortable for the user. For example, the continuity of the railings in the corridors, the courtyards (classrooms) that allow inhabitants to engage in activities while in clean air and natural lighting, or the use of materials that improve the comfort of the user and the use of the Center. In this sense, the classrooms gain importance for their position, and for their use of the large windows that connect the excavated space to the landscape.
The rest of the plot (developing in a second phase) is a large two-level garden. However, both are conceived together due to their common conceptual origin, and the upper garden extends itself over the green roof and water storage. Hence, the building is related to the landscape both formally and materially. This area is conceived as the largest room in the Center, as it encourages outdoor activities, and assures users direct contact with the outside and the landscape of their memory.
ClienteAsociación de Familiares y Enfermos de Alzheimer de Benavente y Comarca
Superficie Lorda (mq)1470
ArchitettiRubén García Rubio & Sonsoles Vela Navarro (studioVRA)
Main ContractorHuerga Roman SL (until structure) and Construcciones P. Sánchez Rodríguez SL
FotografiJavier Bravo Fotografía and Rubén García Rubio (studioVRA)
Curriculum studio / partecipanteWe are interested in the programs. We consider the needs of the client / user as a starting point to propose new architectural experiences that will help us to structure and consolidate the project from the beginning.
We are interested in places. We study the context, at different scales, in search of those elements that serve to anchor the project to its land, its history and its time.
We are interested in materials. We think of the recovery of construction as an indispensable part of the creative act so that it is this matter that gives the project its own character.
All this together with a personal vocation for subtraction, material and conceptual, as a constructive process in which the relationship between inhabited space and light plays a preponderant role.