A new library in Madrid might not be great news, however, if the library is a green spaceship that seems to be suspended in the air, we are talking about something else. Combining a public-use building with an ecological alternative and a modern landscaping trend is the strategy that studio 3Gotti wants to use in the design of its new project in the Spanish capital.
A green facade building in a city that experiences the four seasons of the year can be a risky proposition, and obviously, the effectiveness and beauty of the project will depend on the plants chosen for the landscape and the crucial design of their livelihood. This is part of the criteria that should be considered in the projection and design of this type of works that begin to become more frequent in the big cities.
On this occasion, the district of Villaverde was chosen to develop a very ambitious project, not only because it refers to a building with a green façade, but also since the work aims at giving the impression of being suspended in the air, while the construction will have to comply with the requirements of works that are sustainable and ecofriendly.
The green spaceship designed by 3Gotti will be a building whose base will be a plant with walls and divisions made of glass, where the public activities of the library that imply noise and greater social exchange will take place. The visual perspective of this plant will be a clear base that aside from allowing the passage of natural light to all the spaces and reducing energy use, will offer the public the illusion that the upper floor is truly suspended in the air.
On the inside, internal corridors and gardens, as well as urban orchards in the edges of the building, will be available for cultural activities for the neighbors and especially for children. But the real spaceship will be the monolithic structure that, nested on the large glass bench, will constitute the second floor of the library.
The construction will be formed by a frame of red tubes joined by a structure made of concrete, brick and dark plaster. A metal network will extend above to serve as support for the development of a Virginia creeper that in spring and summer will show a green and thick foliage, but in autumn and winter will leave the dark structure of the spaceship in sight.
This upper floor will be dedicated to the individual study that requires more isolation and silence, with cabins and cubicles with views to the outside or completely closed for the enjoyment of the lonely readers or those who need a space reserved for work.
Being or seeming to be
Looking green doesn’t mean being in fact green. A building with a vegetable façade does not necessarily follow the specifications of a “green building.” The difference is not in plain sight, but in the structure.
Green buildings are those that avoid leaving a carbon footprint. These are sustainable buildings that, in addition to providing their own energy sources, also reduce their consumption and in some cases, even bring ecological benefits to the community.
In the case of “the Spaceship,” there are several reasons to call it “green.” First, the lower floor reduces the consumption of electricity expenditure as indicated and provides spaces for urban orchards that will serve as smaller-scale schools for agricultural activities to help the population develop sustainability skills.
In the case of the upper floor, the creepers will serve as a small lung to oxygenate the air of the community, will provide moisture and freshness in the summer and in winter the dark structure will absorb heat that, when moving to the inside of the building, will reduce the electrical heating expenditure. The shell of the spaceship also has cuts that will serve as skylights through which natural light will enter, in addition to favoring contact with the outside.
Green facade buildings are generally designed with the purpose of providing vegetal ornaments to urban spaces saturated with concrete, thus, “green buildings” prevail as the hottest trend for modern architectural works with less ecological impact. This project combines the best of both options to provide the Villaverde community with a distinctive space full of modernism, intellectual development and cultural exchange.