Sergio Baragaño

R&D Center - Aviles - Spain

The origin of the project was the need expressed by ArcelorMittal’s Global R&D Centre at Aviles, located in this building, to have more workspace. An existing building, rational, symmetric, with a heavy architecture, heavy concrete walls and brick facades, that have been already extended in the 70´s.
The inside-out sushi roll, also known as Uramaki, has the peculiarity that the rice is on the outside and the nori (seaweed) is on the inside, surrounding the filling. This is why it is referred to as an inside-out roll.
In this project, the vision was to play with these concepts with reference to the inside and outside of the building, the city and the materials, endeavouring both to connect ArcelorMittal’s Global R&D Centre to the city of Aviles and, simultaneously, displaying the steel, a material that is produced in the plant (in the city) and that was not apparent in the refurbished centre.
Steel, a material that enters and exits the building, cladding facades, stairs, the roof, which can be understood to be continuous, in reference to the rolling-mills in which it is produced, as well as to the world’s leading steel producer and to a city, Aviles, always a focal point and with a priceless industrial heritage.
The building in which ArcelorMittal develops new and more efficient ways to produce this material must communicate solely through its external appearance the primary, metal-oriented purpose of its activity. It has become an exemplar of how steel construction is able to give spaces new life, gaining in terms of both comfort and quality. Several basic criteria were established for the refurbishment: prioritising the safety of the building’s users, keeping costs low, offering a maximum of services and using ArcelorMittal’s own products.
The solution has connected the R&D Centre with the city of Aviles and also showcases steel as a construction material for facades and roofs. All of this has provided the complex with a clear continuity.
The metal parts can be 100% reused and 70% of them came from recycled steel. The project has two fundamental lines of action: firstly, the restoration of spaces, facades and functionalities in the existing building and secondly, the construction of two new buildings.
The front facade, where brick and concrete predominated, has acquired a new metal fascia. ArcelorMittal’s corporate colours, dark grey and orange, now predominate.

[project selected by Stephen Okoh]





Architecture as Resource / Imprint