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competition / 1st. award
Angel Alonso + Victoria Acebo


Sustainability is a local issue, directly related to the particular conditions of a territory and a time. You cannot talk about sustainability without paying attention to the particular, what is inherent to the site and to the moment. So we started this project paying attention to the problems and possibilities of this particular commission, and not to those that are suitable for all places.

This building was organized back then in 1791 around a central empty space that acted as water impluvium and main ventilation of the rooms, this patio was crucial for its health when started its life as St. Rafael Hospital which continued to be its main activity till 1928. Former prison along the Civil War, later school and conservatory, the building turned to Parlamento in 1986. For the purpose, central patio was covered with a glass pyramid. It was fancy then and provided with a huge interior space.

Cantabria used to be a cloudy region in the past even during the summers. Not anymore. Climate change arose in the shape of almost unbearable interior temperature along summer days.


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A 7.000 m3 canadian well will be located under the surface of one of the parking lots. The tempered air stored there will be introduced mechanically into the main hall to help control thermal variations 

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