Links: IMPPC newsletter
Location: Research campus of Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital (Can Ruti) Badalona, Barcelona
Built area: 3.650 m²
Co-authors: Master s.a de Ingeniería y Arquitectura
Collaborators: Olga Barrier, Arquitecto -Angel Obiol,estructures.
The building, formerly the Enric Borràs Primary school, is the last of the three schools at "Can Ruti" to be converted.
The first thing you notice when you walk into the new IMPPC building is the colors and the second is the amount of light, but talking to the staff working inside you discover that beauty is more than skin deep.
The original structure of the IMPPC building has been an advantage as its square footprint and three floors lent themselves to a successful conversion. The school entrance was changed to what was originally the side of the building effectively turning the Institute round to face the IGTP so the two research centers face each other across a well-maintained visitors parking area.
This structural change also allowed for the wide communication corridor to complete the four sides of the square around the central patio making it easy for personnel to move between the different laboratories and the shared areas. One of the several concerns of the director at the outset was that the building will facilitate meetings between scientists from groups from different disciplines. There are meeting rooms of different sizes and open areas equipped with small groups of comfortable chairs, a signature of the IMPPC, to allow researchers to step out of the labs to discuss different issues in smallgroups.
A second advantage of the square format is that all the laboratories and offices are external with large windows and natural light, whereas the instrument rooms and services are placed on the inside
Located in the Serra Marina Natural Park, the building has views of both the sea and the hillside reminding staff that they have the possibility to stretch their legs in the countryside if they can find the time. For the very busy there is access to the central patio on each floor which provides a pleasant place to sit and talk right next to the laboratories.
Another striking feature is the bright colors of the partition walls, which contrasts with the neutral tones of the structural walls and the natural stone and wood used as decorative elements. At night the three colors are clearly visible and the building appears to glow with a warm colorful light.
The partitions are not just decorative; the laboratories are in practice large single spaces that are divided into smaller areas for bench work or equipment according to the needs of the research groups at that moment. This flexibility and ability to reorganize is vital for a modern research institute; the building must house groups who will change research focus and the technology they use rapidly. This flexibility was central to the project although it is not as visible as the obvious aesthetic features. In order to make rapid changes to the distribution of spaces the services are run in vertical columns from the top to the bottom of the building. The leads for individual instruments, work stations and offices branch off in overhead cable trays and drop down where required; this means that all instruments can berelocated easily and the use of an area changed quickly.