Terrassa. Barcelona

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La Mola Conference Centre. Hotel and convention

Fermín Vázquez (b720 Arquitectos)

Description Technical file

In a location wedged between a golf course and a forest of great natural value stands this substantial built volume erected in a way that the volumetric fragmentation of its programme seeks and attains its integration into the fragile landscape through an interesting repertoire of architectural languages.
The project contemplated the construction of a 198-room hotel with complementary services as well as a complex to be used for meeting spaces and conventions, with a total surface space of around 15.000 metres square.
Three pavilions scattered over the slope resolve a functional programme not given to interpretations through a rigorously rational approach. The link between them produces a semi-buried body that adopts greater formal freedom and is protected from the sunlight by a vegetation-covered lattice. Colour becomes the mechanism that puts it all in context, as far from seeking to camouflage, it proposes conscious artificial stimulation in an intentional correlation with the nature of the forest.
In order to avoid the powerful visual impact that a complex of such dimensions might have on this environment, it was chosen to break up the programme into a series of prismatic buildings that in no case exceed the height of the surrounding woods. Two of the volumes house the rooms, arranged longitudinally along a central corridor over three above-ground floors and including a lounge at the entrance as well as several basements for complementary services (kitchens, spa, etc). The rooms on the south façade enjoy a balcony giving on to the vistas and a solar protection system formed from mobile sliding panels in perforated sheet metal conceived as a great coloured blind. Their hues soften the volumes and blend in with the colour of the existing vegetation, in an intentional play between the real forest and the “artificial nature” of the neighbouring golf course. A third prismatic volume, similar in characteristics but with greater height between floors, houses the convention hall. Inside it are several auditoria, polyvalent halls of varying dimensions and multiple meeting spaces around a large open vestibule, plus a ground floor linked directly with the exterior that projects its uses (as a conference centre) towards the open air. In a central position between these three volumes is a fourth semi-buried building houses the communal spaces, also operating as an access nucleus and general distributor of the complex. A parasol formed from Corten steel sheets provides protection and privacy for its large glazed façade while evoking the surrounding landscape, thus becoming the principal reference point in the intervention.
La Mola Hotel and Conference Centre is an architectural project that respects the natural environment in which it stands, maintaining its initial location the majority of the century-old trees complemented with the planting of trees from a nursery to form a landscaped whole, irrigated in its entirety with the recycled grey water generated by the centre.
The abundant glass surfaces of the facades make the most of the natural light and of the sunlight in winter, while in summer there are various solar control systems that prevent the rooms from overheating. Moreover, the freecooling system makes the most of the favourable conditions of the external air in a controlled manner, thus reducing the need for artificial cooling. Solar panels located on the roofs of two of the buildings help to reduce energy consumption for generating sanitary hot water.
The predominant use of exposed concrete, combined with pinewood frames and landscaped roofs, give unity to the complex and fill it with a serene character that is integrated into its surroundings. The external spaces have been treated to create routes through the landscape and rest and meeting spaces that interconnect each one of the buildings externally.

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Localización: Camí de Can Bon Vilar, Terrassa, Barcelona. Autor: Fermín Vázquez (b720 Arquitectos). Jefes de proyecto: Peco Mulet, Fernando Luna, Andreas Moser. Arquitectos b720: Pablo González, Laura Marticorena, Carles Martínez-Almoyna, Eduard Miralles, Manuel Rivas, Giussy Ottonelli. Equipo arquitectura en obra: Andreas Moser, Eduard Miralles. Interiorismo: Pilar Líbano. Constructor: Construccions Baldó. Aparejador: Josep Gilabert. Estructuras: Guillem González (Base 2). Instalaciones: P.G.I. Instal•lacions. Acústica: Audioscan. Iluminación: Maurici Ginés (Artec Luminotecnia). Paisajismo: Bet Figueras. Interiorismo: Pilar Líbano + Jaume Pons / Denys y Von Arend. Project manager: Idom. Oscar Larrea, Alex Carbonés. Gestor: Principal Halley. Imágenes 3D: b720 Arquitectos, Magdalena Ostornol, Carlos Pascual. Promotor: Layetana Inmobiliaria. Fotografía: Duccio Malagamba.
Fermín Vázquez
b720 Arquitectos