ISRAEL ALBA
architecture can
RED CROSS HEADQUARTERS. GALAPAGAR

The Red Cross Headquarters in Galapagar, in northern Greater Madrid, occupied an old building of the heritage from the beggining of the XXth century, whose main façade is protected, in one of the most visible plazas in town. The building, besides being in bad condition, didn´t fulfill with minimum regulations of health standards and accesibility. For this reason, the Red Cross decided to lead a comprehensive intervention for the restoration and a new extension, to adapt the building to the new regulations and to the new social needs. In collaboration with the town council, they agreed the construction of two new volumes. The first one, to house the communication core and to rectify the accesibility problems. This new volume had to be placed behind the south façade of the main building, not protected, in a way it would’t interfere with the visual perception of the main façade, protected. And the second one, to house two multipurpose classrooms, in direct contact with the garden located in the corner more distant form the traffic noise, replacing an old metal carport where they used to park ambulances, next to the west façade of the main building. These new volumes are slightly separated and connected with the existing building by very light modules, as a kind of little glass bridges. To distinguish the new constructions from the old ones and to keep as well its integrity as its historical value, we employ the same material but with a contemporary construction system and language, making different the existing granite, used as a bearing wall, from the new one, used as a latticework and as a finishing. The staircase volume, with south orientation, is protected with a latticework made up of granite stones of 12cm thickness. This solution provides an effective sun protection, which contributes to the energy efficiency of the whole. In the first floor of the existing building are located the management and administration areas. The public program is located in the ground floor, so the visitors movements can be easily controlled. The open, transparent, free-flowing and continuous nature of the project aims to contribute and to make easier the important work of social integration carried out by the Red Cross.

typology: Office / Education location: Galapagar, Madrid area: 300 m² status: completed 2019 client: Cruz Roja Española TEAM:
principal architect: Israel Alba
architects: Zina Petrikova, Sandra Roncal
quantity surveyor: Rafael Valín
engineering consulting: Mecanismo Ingeniería, S.L.
building services consulting: Herreros Ingeniería, S.L.P.
construction company: EMO-OCCP, S.L.
photographs: Jesús Granada

Galapagar, Madrid