The project draws on a dense and, at the same time, diversified concept for interpreting Holcom’s identity based on a sequence of layers accommodating various functions on its different levels, ranging from warehouses to cutting-edge office spaces, all enveloped in a double skin, which, together with the interiors, forms one single coherent and coordinated system.
Built over seven levels above ground covering an area of 35,000 m², Holcom H.Q. can accommodate up to 1000 people and numerous different organisations at the same time, thanks to a project focusing on a successful combination of factors:
- A balance between enhancing its surfaces and making its spaces as people-friendly as possible (landscaped areas, terraces, communal places, offices, car parks, conference facilities)
- Rational management of both internal and external flows
- Optimisation of all energy/environmental aspects
- Flexibility of its interiors (space planning and architectural features)
- An architectural design capable of creating open interaction between modernity and tradition.
The building makes an immediate impact as a distinctive landmark: the façade is a mediating interface between modernity and the traditional style of the cultural region in which the building is located. The outer cladding, composed out of a metal grid and chrome-plated features that have been combined into heterogeneous modules to create a sort of random effect, instilling unity on the entire building structure.
The most distinctive feature of the building is its double skin, designed based on two systems: a seamless glazed curtain wall placed 20 cm beyond the edge of the floor to allow the installation of a strip of heat/sound insulation, and external cladding. The outside skin creates a dynamic pattern that tones down the overall building mass and unifies its structural layout.
Flexibility and technology are the cornerstones of this business concept.
As well as making the interior space brighter and more pleasant to inhabit, removing certain structures and dividing up others into three also dictates the public and private flows as part of a system in which work and relational spaces are both separate and interconnecting on every level.
The support hubs are the connective tissue of the various corporate functions. A scheme that has allowed efficient and linear floor layouts based on a 1.5-metre functional modulus setting out all the different elements in a flexible and coherent system, from the façade and raised floor to the double-ceiling that follows and accompanies the modulus across a multipurpose frame structure housing glass partitions, lighting appliances and other components (air-conditioning, curtains, sound barriers), all of which can be repositioned.
The same principle of flexibility over time also dictated the stacking plan aimed at enhancing all the building spaces, ranging from the mezzanines with their own office areas to those sections whose floor depth can be adapted to accommodate parking, storage or new support functions by means of simple, inexpensive adjustments: to cater for the future needs of a large building grouping together over 20 companies under one single roof.
The building is also the result of careful structural work: incorporating internal patios, wells of light and even natural features in the architecture (Mediterranean vegetation, pools of water etc.), partly to balance out humidity levels.
Greenery is an extremely important part of the project: 3 little internal courtyards accommodating 10-metre-tall bamboo plants, 5 trees that are 8 metres tall casting shadows across the two terraces, 18 trees to recreate the old boundary wall, a wood of 500 m² of citrus fruits consisting of 5 different species of a total of 65 plants, and a 90 m² landscaped wall on the ground floor opposite the main lobby. These green features, which can be seen from every floor and every block of the building, create a relaxing, sensitive atmosphere, undoubtedly unique of its kind in this entire neighbourhood that mainly houses industrial buildings or constructions badly in need of repair and redevelopment.
Photo credits: Ieva Saudargaite