Barbastro is a small town located near Zaragoza in the north of Aragón, a province of Spain with a beautiful countryside filled with vineyards and architectural heritage. The proposal is located at a corner in the downtown, just in front of the "Espacio Gutenberg" and right in the crossways of Martinez Vargas & Hermanos Argensola streets. Right in front of it on the opposite side of the square, the existing building of the UNED is the only contemporary facade of the area.
The competition proposed a new building for UNED Barbastro, an open university based mostly on the online learning system, that required new spaces for audiovisual professional courses.
This relationship between both buildings and the public space between them is a very intriguing input that we decided to explore deeper to develop the strategy of our design. The public space in between, "Espacio Gutenberg" was developed originally as a private garden and, nowadays, it could become the articulating point as an attractive public space to develop performing-related activities for the city. So our design includes the square and the new building as part of the same proposal.
The building is organised as an open program in the ground floor with open spaces for exhibition areas and a bookstore that intend to strengthen the connection with the urban space, and the upper floors with private spaces for classrooms and audiovisual studios and a television set. The volumetric composition suggests that the ground floor retires from the existing facade alignment to offer continuity from the square to our building, and the second floor retires from the narrow street to allow natural light come into it.