Rectorship - Vigo University | The Plan
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Rectorship - Vigo University

Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

The Vigo university campus is a complex programme. It transforms its environment. It also gives an urban dimension and architectural continuity to the various university functions: lecture rooms, administrative offices and sports facilities. The site backs up against hilly ground, its undulating terrain pulled together by an overhead footbridge - a dense construction supported by uncompromising structural features that in turn support the lecture room building. The whole complex could be described as a progression through a natural landscape transformed. Right from its ideation and initial sketches of 1999 and through the execution phase, the Vigo university campus was an exercise in integrated modelling. The natural landscape is an integral part of the architectures organising university life, and has been enhanced by a reforestation programme that progressed with the construction site. At the same time the undulated or linear forms of the highly distinctive architecture bind the complex to its natural surrounds. Designed by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, the buildings dedicated to individual learning and social exchange string out in a sequential progression through squares and openings lying at varying gradients. The sequence culminates at one end with the theatre and adjacent to it, the Rector’s Offices. A striking, compact building, the Rectorship combines contemporary urban concepts and the sturdy building traditions typical of mountain communities (spare, essential constructions where unmediated juxtaposition of materials creates in-built decorative motifs). Contemporary design combines with apparent simplicity of materials to lend the building an authority that befits the offices of the university Chancellor. The elevations are a jigsaw of geometrical shapes juxtaposing solid and hollow elements that repeat in interesting, non-standard patterns. Fair-face concrete is a major feature along the whole perimeter of the building as it unfolds in...

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