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Aerial view of site Site plan
Front of the building Steps into the public courtyard
Sectional perspective Section through proposed building
   

CORDOBA FAC COMPETITION

Section through proposed design of FAC head office

 

Córdoba, An Expression of Three Cultures
 
The Fundacion Arquitectura Contemporanea (FAC) have held a competition to design their head office in Córdoba, Spain from which they will be able to encourage the 'creation, research and dissemination of contemporary architecture' at a national and international level. Their proposed site is located on the Calle Capitullares in the city centre, opposite the ruins of a Roman temple and adjacent to the Department of Culture of the regional government of Andalusia. The site has been identified as a gateway for the public into the gardens contained within the city block. A further constraint on the site is the Roman archeological remains found a number of metres below street level. The competition brief called for a building that would provide offices for the administrative staff of the FAC and public facilities, including a bookshop with a cafeteria, exhibition space and also conference facilities.

The proposal is L shaped in plan and forms a public courtyard at ground level which connects through to the gardens and to the main street (via steps). A glazed floor in this courtyard allows views down to the archeological remains below without interruption to this public route. The space below the building at this level is inhabited by the cafeteria and overlooked by the reception.
 
The composition of the stone clad facade to the street signifies the history of Cordoba when Jews, Muslims and Christians coexisted at the peak of the city's prosperity in the 10th Century under the Caliphate of Cordoba. The city's most famous building, the Mezquita de Cordoba, was completed in this period. The 856 columns of the Mezquita de Cordoba vary in height and materials because they were either donated or acquired from other buildings, including Christian churches and Roman temples. The famous double arches within the Mezquita de Cordoba were used to resolve the varying heights of these columns and to carry the weight of the ceilings above efficiently. The columns of the proposal for the Fundacion Arquitectura Contemporanea differ in height in order to resolve the public thoroughfare cutting through the three stories of the building but also represent the history of the city's three cultures.