Domus: La Casa del Hombre
1993 - 1995
Site Area: 6,940 sqmBuilding Area: 2,040 sqmTotal Floor Area: 4,019 sqm
Official Web Site
The coastal region of Galicia is assaulted by strong winds and rough seas. Orz?n, being an inlet, is somewhat protected. Nevertheless, the tip of the peninsula is always swept by waves and lashed by rain.
A solid building is necessary to withstand this severe weather. Here, the wall facing the sea balloons out like a sail filled with wind. The interior consists mainly of an exhibition space and requires, therefore, no large windows. The structure consists of precast-concrete units, each measuring 2.6 meters by 17 meters. The result is a curved wall 94 meters long and 17 meters tall. The wall surface was waterproofed and, after being covered with a layer of insulation, clad in green slate panels, 50 centimeters square in area and three centimeters thick. Inside, the concrete is exposed. The back of the building, being next to a residential area, was given a pedestrian scale. It is made up of walls that zigzag in plan like a Japanese folding screen. This screen, which has an average height of 11 meters, sits on the exposed rock bed. The screen is thick enough to withstand powerful lateral winds from the sea. The wall, 5.5 meters thick, is granite strengthened with reinforced concrete. The space between these two entirely different walls is covered by a roof supported on bowstring trusses and illuminated by skylights.
From a seaside promenade, the visitor ascends a grand stairway and passes under the building. The rock bed has been carved in the back to create an approach to the entrance. Inside, the exhibition hall is one continuous space. A doglegged ramp arranged on the rock bed connects three levels and indicates the route for the visitor. Slate is used for the floor and handrail of the exhibition hall. Interactive exhibits are arranged along walls or in the middle of the floor. Soft, controlled daylight is introduced from above.