If the economy of Spain is to have a legitimate future it will be because of companies like GAES which produces advanced technological devices aimed at the expanding biotech sector. The company has more than 500 centres throughout the world catering to people with aural difficulties, manufacturing sophisticated hearing aid devices as well as providing an ongoing maintenance and assessment of their products as a part of their service. Research, manufacturing and marketing are all carried out within the same building requiring a mixture of general offices and laboratories as well as an auditorium and other semi-public spaces. Located within the 22@ neighbourhood where the company was originally founded in back 1949, for their new corporate headquarters local architectural Mizien practice has provided a 6,500 sq.m. state of the art facility that is characterised by the use of a green tinted glass.
The corner site lies at the intersection of 3 streets within the typical Eixample urban grid; Almogávers, Llacuna and Pere IV which cuts diagonally through the street layout and affords the building much greater visibility on its lateral facade. The faceted building volume partly cantilevers over the main entrance and is clad using a double skin glass façade where the outer enveloped features mobile sunscreen glass louvers automatically controlled by a central interactive system that responds to the varying local climatic conditions during the year, thus reducing energy consumption within. Straddling the contrasting scales of the still somewhat schizophrenic Poblenou district the infill building responds to the contiguous buildings on either side in a respectful manner, two storey on one side and seven story on the other. The design manages to express the technological aspects of the activity clearly, providing a strong corporate identity while avoiding the sometimes clichéd use of glass and steel that can be cold and uninteresting.
General view of the building located in the Poblenou area
The scale of the building is respectful of its neighbours at all times
The building is organised around two atria, one a triple height entrance lobby the other connecting all the floors introducing light into the plan via two large roof-lights that generate light reflections and degrees of transparency that vary over the course of the day. The varied building programme is integrated through the architecture creating an attractive work environment while also adding to the surrounding city context, becoming an integral part of the evolution of this rapidly changing part of Barcelona.
The building location coicides with one of the few diagonal streets of the Eixample
Detail of the green glass skin enveloping the building
View of the reception area on the ground floor
One of the internal atria used to introduce natural day light
The conference hall of the Gaes headquarters
- Edificio Juan Gasso Bosch, Carrer de Pere IV, 160 - 08005 Barcelona
- Mizien Architects, Jorge Mestre + Ivan Bercedo