Photography by Iñaki BergeraThe main activity of Certest Biotec involves research, development and manufacturing of diagnostic tests. Due to its rapid growth, the company decided to move its premises from the business incubator at the European Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Aragon to a free 8,000 m2 plot with a dominant position in the San Mateo de Gállego estate.
The planned building is part of the first phase of the complex, which already has an initial 2,500 built-up m2. The proposed scheme includes 8 laboratories, production and administration areas, a main warehouse and common areas. The proposal is based on a parallel buildings growth pattern. These 7.20 x 5.40 m blocks generate great open courtyards between them, which are overlooked by the laboratories.
The set is configured by three 1,000 m2 building wings that rest upon the main warehouse. The latter’s volume was strategically conceived to run along the lorry access service road.The façade cladding is monochrome: it covers all sides linking the planes between themselves. Its appearance is neutral, alternating smooth sheets with perforated ones that subtly hide the façade openings during the day.
One can sense their existence and feel observed by their occupants, as if they wanted to preserve the intimacy of what goes on inside. However, at night, with the light from the inside, the building comes to life. The appearance it offers is totally different for it outlines the layout of façade openings through the perforated sheet.
This game of veils and concealment with a single inexpensive material, apart from pursuing a smooth blending with the surroundings, aims to fulfil another basic objective: to plan a low-cost building with as many architectonic features as possible. This has been, without a doubt, the most complex exercise. .