The main objective has been to transform an inward-looking, utilitarian warehouse into a state-of-the-art, carbon-neutral facility that places the user and the visitor at the centre of the operations and experience of the building.
The building has been re-shaped, and its appearance softened, our aim has been to reinterpret the beauty of the surrounding scenery, the striking sinuous mountain ranges, the winding turns of the ski slopes and the snow formations, into a visually stunning building with abundant green areas and recreation zones for the staff and visitors.
We embrace the challenge of reutilizing as much as possible of the existing warehouse and office building structures; our intervention involves making an incision where the two buildings meet aiming to increase the quality of office space by absorbing more of the natural light and ventilation available to it.
As the result of the incision, new visitor access is created on Level 01 and an elevated garden emerges in Level 02. This new open-air area seats right adjacent to the office amenities providing a semi-private open-air retreat to be enjoyed by warehouse and office staff.
We have also aimed to provide an exciting destination for residents and tourists both inside and outside of the building. A new public square with an amphitheatre and vegetation emerges in front of the building. On the inside, a library, co-working, exhibition space and a rooftop viewing point provide a good array of options for attractions for the local community.
The extensive roof of the warehouse has been retrofitted with solar panels taking advantage of the uninterrupted exposure to the south. Between the solar panel islands, a running circuit accessed by the L2 elevated garden is proposed for the use of staff.
The building façade is a progression from a very “boxy” monotonous appearance to a softer and inviting geometry housing the offices and public programme. We envisage a Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete façade which can be manufactured in large panels and able to be shaped in organic forms. The horizontal windows provide panoramic uninterrupted views of the surrounding mountains.
The principle of preserving and repurposing an unused building is on its own sustainable. Any net-zero or passive house building needs to be able to balance its energy gains and losses. In the case of a data preservation centre; where a big area of the building needs to be kept in low and stable temperatures; the task is challenging.
The Data centre has been clearly divided into two zones to provide appropriate temperature control features. Both zones are connected via airlocks functioning as buffer zones in order to prevent heat loss or the overheating of the archive area.
We embrace the notion of “Workplace Wellness” as the set of parameters that create and promote a healthy and productive environment. To achieve that, we envision naturally lighted and ventilated spaces that promote a good balance between workers concentration, productivity, and social interaction. We introduced vegetation indoors through two full height atriums, as well as the provision of break-out spaces for meetings, leisure, and social interaction.
Outdoors we designed an elevated garden adjacent to the staff amenities leading up to a running track through the roof of the warehouse and a rooftop viewing point for social interaction and physical exercise.
We have aimed to integrate in a holistic landscaping proposal all access roads, parking zones and the foreground of the building. The main goal was to provide a more friendly face to the new Preservation Centre, we achieve this by proposing a set of monumental steps which shape clusters of vegetation, an amphitheatre to be used in summer and top and bottom plazas for public activities. When the weather permits, these plazas can be activated with food trucks, markets or public festivities.
Increasing the amount of vegetation is a key aspect of the strategy, not just for the beautifying effect but also to reduce the heat island effect which could overheat the site in summer. All parking zones have an increased presence of trees whose shade will make the journey from the parking to the building more enjoyable.
Collaboration of AIDIASTUDIO and ArchiWorkshop Lead Architects: Rolando Rodriguez-Leal, Natalia Wrzask (AIDIASTUDIO) Local Design Representatives: Su-Jeong Park, Hee-Jun Sim (ArchiWorkshop) Project Team: Emilio Vásquez Hoppenstedt, Rodrigo Wulf Sánchez