May 12, 2022
The town of Bétera, in Valencia, is the place chosen by the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción to set up its new headquarters. Designed by the MRM Arquitectos studio with collections from the PORCELANOSA Group, this building has an envelope and several independent spaces that are intertwined by means of a pergola. The layout permits the different sections to be built around two courtyards, thus integrating the surrounding countryside and industrial landscape.
An open building recognised by ASCER
The use of large format pieces in the building envelope earned MRM Arquitectos the 2021 Ceramics in Architecture Award from ASCER (Spanish Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers) for its innovative installation and placement of PORCELANOSA's large-format ceramics on the façade. "Out of respect for the physical and cultural context of the Valencian Community, we proposed the use of ceramics - which is the quintessential material in the region - for the construction and image of the new Centre", explains MRM Arquitectos.
Surrounded by olive and fruit trees, each space in this open, one-storey building combines functionality and minimalism. The key lies in its extensible spaces, based on the idea of collaborative work, in which each department maintains its autonomy but with shared pedagogical values. "Due to the different activities that take place here, and especially the multiple training courses that can be given, the building can host a large number of them while complying with all the regulatory requirements and specifications. The courses offered by a centre of this type are not fixed, and the centre caters to both the specific and the medium- and long-term needs of various occupational and industrial fields. Responding to this need was the main starting point that we had to address", says the team from MRM Arquitectos.
An envelope with a façade by Butech
To materialise this somewhat abstract idea, the team at MRM Arquitectos opted for the Butech ventilated façade system with PORCELANOSA XLIGHT porcelain for the wall tiles and a steel veneer. "A ventilated façade is proposed to achieve optimum thermal performance, and large-format pieces are used because they are better suited to the size of the façade and to the distance from which the building is normally viewed. Ceramic is, both in terms of its dimensions and technical characteristics, the material that allows us to meet all the technical requirements", note the architects.
An architectural scheme focused on natural light thanks to the flexibility of the spaces and the union of exterior and interior rooms through north-northeast facing skylights. "Through its architecture, the new building provides the best functional, environmental and natural lighting conditions for offering the best theoretical and hands-on training. The two interior courtyards, especially the landscaped one, provide a kind of natural continuity for this vegetation inside the building. This idea of belonging to the natural landscape is reinforced by the central ambulatory under the pergola, and the dialectical use of the structure, which is orderly and always visible", conclude MRM Arquitectos.