Plaza Europa rises halfway between El Prat Airport and the city of Barcelona, with the aim of becoming a new center of attraction for the entire metropolitan area. The situation plant reflects well what were the intentions of who drew it, Alberto Viaplana, winner of a contest called for his project. And perhaps it is worth saying that the architect seems to have been more interested in emphasizing the value of the intersection in the metropolitan area defined by the Joan Carles I and the Granvía de l’Hospitalet avenues – in which the presence of the Fair of Samples plays an outstanding role- that in configuring an urban episode in which the notions of volume and space prevail. Faced with a possible complex, hectic and dense volume, an abstract display of clearly identifiable and autonomous towers. And so, the towers -the architectural elements with which we work- intermingle with „crescents“ and embrace, without solution of continuity, the mentioned intersection without defining a clear and evident geometry. The result is an urban void in which towers make an appearance that we perceive as independent, with no apparent relationship between them. One of these towers is the new corporate headquarters of Puig that, trying to coincide with the new urban image of Barcelona, has chosen the Plaza Europa to raise its headquarters.
The tower strictly respects the plant and the height established in the planning and the purpose that it was perceived as a unitary figure and not as a simple superposition of horizontal plants, has led to raise the vitreous spiral that surrounds the volume. The desire that Torre Puig assume the iconographic load that corresponds to its status as corporate headquarters, seems to be satisfied with the resounding geometry of its architecture, while the forcefulness of the spiral leads to a form that, in its purity, alludes to the value that Puig has always given to the containers of his fragrances. On the other hand, the spiral leads us to think about the continuous desire for improvement that has always been present in the business adventure of Puig.
The plant of the tower – a square of 27.50m x 27.50m – shows the protagonism of the nucleus, which not only solves vertical communications and services and mechanical installations, but also helps to define and structure the useful surface. And this without detracting from the definitive role that the solution of the resistant structure has. Around the core, work areas are displayed from which one can enjoy the urban landscape provided by a city like Barcelona on all four sides. The vitreous band contributes to providing the interior spaces, be they offices, offices, meeting rooms or singular spaces, with an attractive filter at the same time that helps to improve, on the other hand, the isolation conditions of the building that, said by the way, it has deserved the LEED gold qualification.
It should also be noted how much the neutrality with which the nucleus is installed in the square floor has allowed to solve the complex program and whoever studies the various plants will see that the most varied dispositions can be carried out – making use of a modulation of 1.35, 2.70, 4.05 and 8.10- present in the definition of all the architectural elements that make up the tower.
Special attention has been paid to the meeting of the tower with the horizontal plane, resolved by a pond around the tower, from which the bands of the spiral start. Naturally, the pond is interrupted in the facade from which the tower is accessed, emphasizing the access by means of a metallic protection in which the effects of the geometry imposed by the spiral are also felt, while at the threshold of the entrance protects from the rain.
Finally, to say that gardening has contributed decisively to give the horizontal plane a use to which planning does not seem to have paid so much attention. Converting the abstract horizontal plane on which the towers rest in a garden is a goal that the gardening of the tower introduces and we encourage the city of Hospitalet to understand the Plaza Europa also as a green enclave care able to encourage an intense urban life .
The corporate program is composed of an auditorium or debate room that follows the Harvard model of participatory classroom, and together with adjoining meeting rooms are located at level -1. Through a staircase that runs parallel to the core within a double space, they are linked to the ground floor.
In this floor the lobby and the reception area are located and through a circular staircase, which punctuates the space, a direct connection is established with the first floor, which houses the cafeteria, this plant does not occupy the entire surface, leaving part of the this one empty, creating a double space that distinguishes the lobby.
On the second floor, the restaurant is located, with the kitchen attached to the core and circulating parallel to the facade.
The program of common zones, is completed in plant 3, in which the gym is located with its corresponding changing rooms, also attached to the nucleus.
The rest of the plants are operational, and they fit the different needs of the organizational program, highlighting the 6th and 7th floors linked together, with a metallic staircase parallel to the nucleus and the 9th floor that contains the program of the visits and meetings rooms.
It started with distributions that freed the plant spaces from enclosures, so that from the lobby of the nucleus they are accessed using „open spaces“ configurations. The most exclusive program is concentrated in the remaining laterals, placing in both two volumes glazed with their respective partitions.
With the implantation it has been tried to continue with the neutrality, lightness and purity that transmits the Architecture, the glass, the white like predominant color in ceilings, cabinets, vertical paraments and furniture, looking for a unit between the architecture and its interiors.
Natural oak wood appears in those spaces in which it is necessary to create different atmospheres so that users can abstract from the set, making a concrete use, breaking with the homogeneity of the rest, such as the auditorium, restaurant and gym.
Highlight the plant lobbies and elevators, which have been treated as stainless steel boxes, as the technological core of vertical circulation.