Microbiological Laboratory by Penelas Architects, inspired by post-industrial aesthetic

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Microbiological Laboratory

The Chemical & Microbiological Laboratory by Penelas Architects is a sophisticated building made of reinforced concrete and steel. It allows for large spans and very open spaces necessary for the laboratory’s functioning. The structure has highly complex and useful amenities for microbiological and chemical analysis laboratories. The building has a post-industrial appearance that is compatible with a hyper-advanced image designed to evoke emotions.

It reactivates the dynamic surrounding industrial landscape with a perforated façade, screening the surroundings and creating its own inner landscape.The outer volume’s design is inspired by high-speed rail hyper-technology, as well as the triangular geometry of the Salón de Embajadores dome and the Reales Alcázares de Sevilla’s transition spaces. It is a dialogue between technology and tradition, with the past influencing the present and future. It is exposed on the lower faces of the facade, thus it is configured as a grid-slab in which exterior parameters of composite, double-sided aluminium, and perforated materials mix, providing a clean encounter and finish between materials.

Microbiological Laboratory

The building protects itself from the sun by designing its own shading, using a fractured design that allows it to slide over its double facade, which is made up of an internal glass envelope and an outer super-perforated aluminum envelope developed using parametric-computational technologies.

The chimney effect is created between them and is qualified according to each orientation. To the north, it has large perforations; to the west, it is more opaque, with small perforations; to the east, it receives the early sun through variable perforations; and to the south, where the building’s facilities are located, it is virtually closed. The external skin has changing geometry, with perforations that sift and diffuse light, resulting in a more intimate inner environment. The laboratories are enclosed by an inner glass skin with functional geometry.

Microbiological Laboratory

The interior is organized in overlapping spatial layers, resulting in a great spatial complexity from the extension and superimposition of various spaces and volumes. As a result, the building represents an improvement over the previous environment. This complexity is focused on the great central staircase sculpture that organizes the building and from which the zenithal light descends through the skylights. The interiors are lighted by sunlight filtered through skylights, which pass through clear glass planes with light and shadow treatments. Beautiful, introspective, and mystical environments are created, providing ideal conditions for working and living.

A ramp bridge over the courtyard provides accessibility to the raised ground floor when compared to the street level. The Chemical & Microbiological Laboratory rises, creating a sense of weightlessness. It is hung by a massive cantilever, floating and providing a threshold region for the sky and nature to filter through, as was common in many Arab constructions. Concrete, steel, glass, and aluminum are all recyclable elements, and their combination strengthens the expression of the building’s concept.

Project Info

Area: 2000 m²
Architect in Charge: José Luis Esteban Penelas, Director and Founder
Collaborators: Yolanda Hernández Lorente, María Esteban Casañas, Antonio Guijarro, Marina Rodríguez Sotoca, Kevin Román Cruz, Yakaterina Savina.
Technical Architect: Antonio Atienza Ramírez
Client: Grupo Biomaster
MEP: BDEV Baroja, Estévez, del Valle, Arquitectos
Construction: BDEV Baroja, Estévez, del Valle, Arquitectos Empresas constructoras: ETOSA – ELVAL COLOUR – DARDO
City: Alcalá de Guadaíra
Country: Spain
Photographs: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

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