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MANZANA 5

Colaboración para el desarrollo constructivo durante la fase de proyecto básico y de ejecución de un complejo de oficinas, viviendas y centro comercial

Localización: Zaragoza, España

Cliente: STAR - Strategies + Architecture

Estado: Colaboración y asesoramiento constructivo

Año: 2007

Architecture solves the problems of urban planning
Due to the rush in conceiving the urban plans for Manzana 5 and 6 we encountered a big problem while developing the building that could seriously compromise its design: the building, as proposed in the master plan, did not comply with fire regulations. The time constraints made the modification and further approval of a new master plan impossible. The solution proposed by the fire department of the City was to open up a street and cutting the block in two, to allow for the access of fire engines to the core of the building. To our mind, this was a very poor solution, as it compromised the coveted large scale of the block; it was also undesirable to the client who would lose an awful lot of valuable retail space and the possibility of constructing a large mall, rather than two disconnected commercial pieces. By studying carefully the fire regulations and by meeting the firemen on several occasions we came up with a simple fire safety concept that would not require any cuts to the building, nor any extra investment, whilst making more space available for housing. We planned a big staircase to the common gardens, which would be considered a ‘safe place’, becoming a second ground-floor from where users may be evacuated. We also proposed duplex apartments on the top floors, reducing the “escape height” of one floor. These users will have an alternative emergency exit, an ascendant escape route, that will lead them to the roof of the blocks, from where they will be able to descend using another staircase to the ground-floor. In this way we eliminate half of the stairs in each block, freeing up this space to the apartments. Architecture solved the problems of poor urban planning.

The required programme of Manzana 5 is composed of 60,000 m2 of residential, administrative, parking, and retail programme. Within the block we will allow maximum flexibility in housing typology. It contains 168 apartments from 100 possible different typologies, all fitting within the same structural grid and services layout. The smallest is 40 m2 and the largest is 180 m2.