Red Cross Headquarters in Galapagar, in northern Greater Madrid, occupied an old building of the heritage from the beginning of the XXth century, whose main facade is protected, in one of the most visible plazas in town.
The building, besides being in bad condition, did not fulfill with the minimum regulations of the health standards and accessibility. For this reason, the Red Cross decided to lead a comprehensive intervention of restoration and a new extension, to adapt the building to the new regulations and to the new social needs. Therefore, two new volumes are built. The first one, to host the communication core and to rectify the accessibility problems. This new volume is placed behind the south facade of the main building (which is not protected), in a way it will not interfere with the visual perception of the main facade. And the second one, to house two multipurpose classrooms, in direct contact with the garden located in the corner which is more distant form the traffic noise, replacing an old metal carport where they used to park ambulances, next to the east facade of the main building.
The intervention on the original building consists in the consolidation and reparation of the granite facades, emptying the interior and replacing the sloping tile roof. The old wooden slabs have been demolished and replaced by concrete slabs, also to brace the facades. Our project establishes as a priority the reparation of the detected pathologies and the articulation of the new constructions with the existing one. In order to do this, the new pavilions are slightly separated and connected to the existing building by light modules, as a kind of small glass bridges. To distinguish the new constructions from the existing one and to preserve both its integrity and historical value, the same material is used but with a contemporary constructive system and language, making different the existing granite, used as a bearing wall, from the new one, used as a latticework and as a finishing, both in facades and roofs.
The staircase volume, mainly oriented to the south, is protected by a latticework made up of granite stones of 12cm thickness. This solution provides effective sun protection, which contributes to the energetic efficiency of the whole. This same solution is repeated in the windows of the classrooms, except in the front facade towards the garden, which opens completely, in order to allow its use as an outdoor classroom when weather permitting.
In the first floor of the original building are located the management and administration areas. The most public areas are on the ground floor, so that the movement of visitors can be easily controlled. The open, transparent, free-flowing and continuous nature of the project aims to contribute and to make easier the important work of social integration carried out by the Red Cross.