The project for Neuron Bio's new headquarters, a biomedical, pharmacological, and technological research enterprise, is placed in a growing area of the city called “Campus de las Ciencias” (Health Sciences Campus) in Granada, located in the south of the city beside the highway. The plot is located in an old field of “Vega” (the orchard near the town) with a smooth topography near the Monachil River. It is an inner piece of land that subdivides a big plot into four smaller ones. The main, north-facing frontage, opens to Avicena Street and Monachil River and the south one looks to a public pedestrian space that will be built in the near future. The building’s design is strongly conditioned by urban laws which force a relationship between close buildings by lateral setbacks in proportion with the building’s height, creating terracing in a ziggurat shape.
The project is conceived as a set of overlapping boxes which shelter each unity of laboratories and other program-defined uses. These boxes adapt their position to the resulting shape of the existing regulation laws, which, as has been mentioned, demand a lateral setting back. This point, the vertical overlapping, works in order to adapt the building volume to the floor-plot and to the main face, the one in front of Avicena Street. In this north frontage, a large vertical conduit for facilities and their connections is generated, closed with folding galvanized steel slats; this conduit crosses the nine floors, five of them above the ground and four underground. The facilities area expands in the third floor from the north to the south face, where a two-floored piece is generated and where equipment and large facilities are housed. Beside the north vertical conduit of galvanized steel slats, a double height box is located, housing the manufacturing plant. Due to the technical complexity of the working methods facilities design, these have been carefully studied for their full accessibility and maintenance.
In order to improve the natural illumination of the inner spaces and boxes, a central courtyard is placed for organizing communication areas, daylight and crossed views between the different work levels: every working area and laboratory has daylight illumination at least from two positions. Two lifts, one of which is a hoist, are placed in the south and north sides of courtyard; the courtyard is also used for vertical facilities maintenance. Enclosing the lifts, strong concrete walls have been built to solve the seismic problem of Granada. Finally, the main stair connects every floorplan, moving and adapting itself to the lateral shape of the building, with the setting back in the boxes caused by the urban laws.
The color-use plays a double role: on one hand, the color identifies the different kind of laboratories and program areas, giving them a conceptual visibility; on the other hand, it gives optimism to the building image, necessary for investigation development. Color is associated with the contents of each box, which are built with colored glass and fiber-reinforced cement sheeting.