Few years ago, we were traveling from Portugal to Northern Spain and we knew about these beautiful primitive granaries named Hórreos, and learned among other things, how an interior space can be kept fresh and ventilated allowing the air to flow continuously, by making an open tectonic system in the façade. Our project is about the annex of the existing TID building where architecture and design students go to fabricate wooden models at ITESO University in Guadalajara México.
We thought we could recall the traditional Hórreos by putting into practice its teachings with a strong process of transformation. The annex is the place where people go to apply lacquer, varnishes and all kind of coating paints; and that is the reason for the building to have natural ventilation with a system of wooden louvers that allow the air to flow through the façade.
One of the most important conditions for this project was, that we had to make a fully removable piece, because it was going to be the annex of an existing building with a LEED Certification, and the board of the department of Architecture did not wanted to affect that certification with a new extension. Therefore, we planned and designed the building considering a bolted steel structure with wooden floor structure, thus we will be able to dismount it in the future if necessary.
The structure of the building is made of “I” steel beams and columns, while the façade is made of large wooden louvers that allow the air to flow through its gaps. For the same reason, we designed the top of the building, to work as a chimney draft, in order to get a highly efficient natural ventilation system. Among all, the facades can open to get fresh air and to ventilate when many students are using the space. We really like to think that the essential material in the conception of this building is the air.
In other words, the shape of the building is a metaphor of air flowing. Thinking about its character, the building communicates its use clearly: the wooden atmosphere and the exposed steel structure tell us about a workshop space.