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Faculty of Fine Arts, University of la Laguna

GPY Arquitectos

Faculty of Fine Arts, University of la Laguna
By Caterina Testa -
BEGA, Jung have participated in the project

The University of La Laguna in Santa Cruz, Tenerife is located to the northwest of the city abutting onto a motorway and untidy urban sprawl. The new Fine Arts Faculty occupies a plot near the existing campus but separated from it by a main road.
The project by gpy arquitectos is posited on a dual objective: on the one hand, to link the new structure to the existing university campus and nearby city, and on the other, to shield the building from the noise nuisance coming from the nearby main road.
The layout of the available open spaces is the starting point for the new architecture and how it blends into its environment. The building seems as if it has been generated by the public spaces on the campus.
The circulation route of the new Faculty starts in the front square, the point of arrival from the nearby road. Functional areas open to the public and the rest of the university community - exhibitions areas, the auditorium and library - are all placed along this circulation route that becomes a pedestrian ramp giving direct access to the two main levels of the Faculty.
The square reaches into the volume, signposting the main entrance and widening out into a large terrace overlooking the inner court. From this point on, the circulation system becomes a series of semi-open galleries, a striking counterpoint to the open spaces within the complex.
Small gardens, wide terraces, overhead footbridges and covered galleries are all complementary spaces to the interiors proper, offering an uninterrupted sequence of points of view and glimpses from different angles as well as opportunities for meeting and socializing.
This distribution system that starts from the road and an open outdoor space to become a long winding corridor is translated into architecture as an uninterrupted concrete band wrapping itself around the whole building.
The reinforced concrete balustrades are offset by internal walls of U-shaped panels of cast ground glass...

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