Competition Comú Escaldes-Engordany

First Prize Competition for ideas for refurbishment of the 1st and 5th floors and the façade of the Comú (Commune) of Escaldes-Engordany

The volume of the building gives us the idea of a tree trunk and we have decided to evoke the image of its bark.

The idea stems from the analysis of the existing environment, when we confirm that all the buildings that surround the Comú are made of stone, metal and glass.

We also realised that no wood has been incorporated into any institutional façade of the village; wood being a material belonging to the mountains and which can be fully integrated into the urban fabric.

To implement it, we coated the façade with a panel made of basalt: volcanic rock known for its hardness and durability, as well as its impermeability, with an exterior finish that mimics wood.

With this product, each board is unique, since it ensures the non-repetition of the woodgrain in the chosen design; thus acquiring a natural effect. In this way, wood and stone are combined to create a product that looks like and has the workability of wood, but the durability of stone.

Thanks to its natural composition (basaltic rock), it is also perfectly compatible with the requirement of sustainable and environmentally efficient materials. Basalt is the most common volcanic rock and, in terms of land area covered, exceeds any other igneous rock, and even exceeds them all together. It is as solid as stone and, consequently, immune to inclement weather.

Inside we keep the same philosophy as we do on the outside and we use wood (in this case, real) as our ally to give warmth, acoustic control and comfort to the space. The function rooms, the Sala del Consell (Council Hall) and institutional rooms are designed to reveal the sloping ceilings which make up the gabled roof (traditional in Andorra).