Álvaro Siza, Ceuta, Spain, 2011
Built in the heart of the city of Ceuta, the project occupies a city block, “mazana”, in the historical center, its possible from da terrace see the city port. The orientation of the 5 buildings and the shape of the front façades were designed with the aim of being integrated with a wide range of buildings in the surrounding block. The largest building is the auditorium, which dominates much of the block, with a curved wall that allows you to easily identify its function. At the side of the auditorium there is a building with four independent volumes that serves as conference centers, a building where is located the music school, another for a language school and a last for commercial zone. Together delimit an internal square in the block that fits into the functional logic of the city.
As a structural solution for most buildings a structure was adopted composed horizontal resistance elements of reinforced concrete or mixed of steel and concrete and vertical elements interconnected, forming nearly orthogonal mesh, where the horizontal elements are supported sometimes have a span of considerable size. In the case of garages, slabs rely on its interior pillars and in the surrounding walls. As for the foundations it was decided a direct foundation solution for most part of the building, normally constituted by a reinforced mat foundation on the pillars and in certain areas, guaranteeing contact ground stresses of reduced values.
According to the geotechnical report of the quality control Laboraty of Ceuta SL there are actually two different areas regarding the techniques to adopt for the execution. One without great difficulty due to the distance of existing buildings that reasonably can be performed by embankment slopes. The other due the proximity of existing buildings should have special containment; within the hypotheses suggested by the LCQ of Ceuta we chose “continuos walls” for two main reasons, economic and intended to serve as a lost formwork to receive the final proofing and the definitive concrete wall.
For the technical auditorium space it was chosen a metal structure bolted with prestressed bolts so that is possible to execute it in the workshop and then mount it on the work site. This structure is suspended from the coverning in some cases by means of rods and in other cases by means of metal profiles.