‘Ampliación del Archivo de Burgos en el Palacio de Castilfalé’
The palace of Castilfalé houses the Archive of the city of Burgos. It is a magnificent example of Burgos Renaissance architecture, located in front of the Cathedral, a great representative of Gothic art in Europe. Our proposal was the winner of the competition for the expansion of the Archive.
The first objective of the project is to ensure the aesthetic integration of the new architectural volume next to the Gothic temple. The façade is made of stone, wood and brick, as well as becomes mute, posing an abstract cloth that gives prominence to both the Palace and the Cathedral.
The interior of the archive is designed according to specific technical needs. An atrium of vertical circulations with overhead light organizes the routes and accesses to the rooms. A double technical wall with high insulation delimits the deposits, guaranteeing the conservation and security of documents, photographic and cartographic material, books and special supports.
Another of the key strategies of the project is the opening of the Palace to citizens and its link to urban space. An ascending route is created that begins in the Plaza de la Catedral, crosses the Palace and ends at the roof, where the new ‘Plaza Mirador’ is located, allowing you to enjoy the views of the historic center.
The necessary construction strategies are proposed so that the energy efficiency of the project is optimal. The project pursues the energy efficiency standards of a Passivhaus building, through interventions that include the perimeter continuity of the thermal envelope, a heat recovery system and a skylight facing southeast that allows solar capture in winter.
Kuwait Grand Resort
The Kuwait Grand Resort is an exclusive waterfront resort in south Kuwait. Strategically located, each of its spaces opens up its views to the port, offering a unique and full experience of the mall and sports marina.
On arrival, the guests have direct access by car via a ramp leading to a piazza four metres above the street. This is the access level, housing an impressive range of services, gardens and pools, at a privileged height above the sea horizon.
Using traditional arched elements, modernised with contemporary language, the façade has a unique character and connects visually the different programmes. Palms and other trees are interspersed between the archways, creating a paradise. The Islamic-inspired gardens serve as a place for contemplation and pleasure. They satisfy the five senses with the colours of the flowers, the intense seasonal fragrances, the cool temperatures under the tree canopy, the fresh flavours of the fruits, and the trickling sounds of water.
Water, as a symbol of life and purity, is present in different forms: pools, canals, fountains, and jets, creating a unique soundscape. The sea appears in front of the swimming pools, cut out by the boat sails and leaves of the trees.
Over this access floor, which connects to the street though its terraced, gardened topography, rise three towers. Their glass façades provide a direct relationship between the guest rooms and the sea. They have a living room, a private terrace, and luxury finishes. The L-shaped tower and the top floors of the other two towers are home to exclusive suites, of up to 300 square metres, which also boast large terrace spaces with views over the sea in a more secluded environment.
The design is driven by the aim to create a space using modern architectural language combined with the traces of recognisable historical heritage. The sense of the place is emphasised through an intimate relationship with the sea and gardens. The resort, along with the mall and marina, provides the opportunity to enjoy the most exclusive, luxury services, surrounded by vegetation and the sea, in a relaxing, intimate environment.
15′ City Complex
This mixed development is in a prime seafront location in the centre of Kuwait, including a hotel, housing, offices, and commercial spaces. Its unitary image stands out with the vertical louvres covered in vegetation, a materialisation of the project’s sustainable approach. The building is designed around a framework of wellbeing, efficiency, and energy- and cost-saving criteria that characterise green building certifications such as LEED.
The 15′ City Complex works as a small city, providing all the usual everyday urban services inside. In this “15-minute city” urban model, a contemporary interpretation of the “neighbourhood units” developed by the North American urban planner Clarence Perry in the 1920s, the residents have access to everything they need within a 15-minute distance on foot, by bike or public transport. This shapes multi-purpose neighbourhoods, reducing the need for unnecessary displacements, reinforcing the sense of community and improving sustainability and inhabitability. From this urban model, the 15′ City Complex makes it possible to inhabit a contemporary city and enjoy a high quality of life, living sustainably and more pleasantly.
In order to bolster its connectivity to the urban fabric and the sea, and to encourage the enjoyment of public space, the ground floor offers a gardened square for the city. This is where the access to the building’s different programmes are found, although they still have a degree of privacy. The gardens, restaurants and terraces, and the play between sun and shade provide connection with the greenery and make this urban space a highly enjoyable experience.
On the first and second floors is where the retail centre is found, enjoying natural lighting and crossed views over courtyards that foster a more relaxed shopping experience. It offers basic everyday products as well as other specialised purchases. The third and fourth floor house the sports centre, surrounded by gardens that create an great environment to practice sports. Guests and residents can swim and relax overlooking the sea from swimming pools at different heights.
Three towers home to office space, housing, and a hotel, respectively. The housing is terraced and boasts luxury finishes. The hotel has suites, ample rooms, and serviced apartments, as well as views to the sea from all its areas. The project is serviced with a number of facilities, such as a library or a sky lobby with spaces opening up to the privileged views. This mixed programme provides access to all the necessary everyday services without leaving the 15′ City Complex.
The T Mall
The T Mall is a commercial and service development located near another project by AGi architects, Tamdeen Square Residences. Both complexes are in a new urban area to the south of Kuwait, next to highway 30, which runs parallel to the coastline.
The guiding concept for the project is a traditional market or souk. The entire ground floor is a pleasant exterior space, open, shaded, and well ventilated. The commercial spaces are organised in groups, forming islands that open up to a central avenue. Their interior façades are a small-scale, welcoming urban front.
The access is open and fluid, stimulating and sustainable from an energy perspective as it is not reliant on complete thermal conditioning. A permeable cover over the central avenue filters direct sunlight, distributing it indirectly as well as providing shade. Reaching over the square, the V-shaped roof beams give the mall a distinctive character, and a variety of skylights help provide ventilation. These features are part of the strategies put in place to create a more efficient and sustainable building.
A large amount of vegetation creates a relaxing environment. The pavements and ground elements are designed in stone, emphasising the feeling of an outdoor urban space. The lighting also contributes to this, using an array of standing and hanging street lights. All this creates an evocative space that brings together tradition and the contemporary in order to create the best shopping experience possible.
On the first floor, above the mall, are the office spaces, services, and gym with running track. These programmes are enclosed by coloured, perforated aluminium panels, which filter the sun and, at night, turn the building into an urban lantern. With this gesture, the project takes on an image in line with its relevance in the city, creating an icon and landmark for the passing traffic.
Quarry House is a large villa located in Kuwait. Its design organises the different interior private spaces with a prism built in natural light-coloured stone with a visible drilled finish. Quarry cut, with no other processing, the façade material is a reflection of formal strength and the quality of its finishes.
The façade openings and different courtyards are perforated into this stone cube. The geometric shapes of these cuts is emphasised with the treatment of the brise soleil, bronze-coloured vertical louvres integrated into the window frames. The courtyards are finished with smooth, light ceramic that brings clarity and warmth to the interior. Both solutions provide elegance and sophistication to the exterior image of the house.
The ground floor emerges from the boundary of the plot, with a blind façade that gives intimacy to the living spaces at this level. A large entrance gives way to the interior, providing a lush protective screen from any gazes from the public space, using greenery and metal latticework.
Courtyards, gardens, and terraces help organise the home around the feeling of living among and surrounded by vegetation. The interior is free of structure and the visual connections create spaciousness. The living room, kitchen, and dining room open up to a large courtyard with a swimming pool, and connect visually with the garden. A lavish main staircase is naturally lit through an interior glass patio. All this creates a stunning and exquisite lifestyle where one can enjoy spacious, intimate environments surrounded by vegetation and luxury finishes.
Clay Villa is a large house that provides all the spaces necessary for a life of great comfort. The concepts that guide the design combine minimalist lines with warm, contemporary materials, and interconnected spaces with the arrangement of required privacy.
The exterior façade is made from a special format, hand-made, narrow mud brick, which gives the villa a warm, understated, and elegant feel. The house volume is drawn with the lines marked by the ceramic elements. The windows, protected by latticework using the geometry the house is based on, make the building pulse with elegance.
In the interior, a grand sculptural staircase organises and connects the different floors. All the communications of the house end in the terrace. The rooms open up indirectly to the exterior, if not directly onto a terrace or patio. Along with the use of multiple latticework, the design provides the home with an elevated intimacy, while also offering a bright luminosity as well as many spaces in which to enjoy the exterior.
The ground floor is home to a garden and a number of patios and courtyards that connect all the spaces on this level. The garden is protected from the outside, and the main spaces of the house open up to it. The garden enjoys an afternoon orientation. As a counterpart, on the rooftop, there is an huge terrace that acts as a large living room for the whole family. On the basement level, lit through a number of patios, a large garage and a gym complete the spaces in this villa. The views from and across the staircase, always soaked in light and surrounded by vegetation, give the villa a brimming feeling of serenity and sophistication.
Ribbon House 2.0
The design of this villa is driven by the wish to create a great contemporary family house using modern, coherent, and sophisticated language, with the highest standards. Uniquely, the house is composed of three different houses for three families. So, the resulting design is a large villa with three luxury floors, which all together form a cube.
The monolithic appearance of the cube is broken towards the exterior by means of elegant vertical lines drawn on the façade. The materials—a stone plinth reflecting strength and stability and extruded, textured ceramics for the upper floors—give this villa its unique image and emphasise the highest quality of all the finishes.
Each of the houses is divided by a central axis that separates the day and night areas. They are both lit through two patios, offering plentiful natural lighting. These patios allow the house to be organised in such a way that it achieves both the ideal maximum privacy as well as radiant spaces. Different terraces extend each apartment towards the exterior.
The ground floor serves the three families and contains an huge diwaniya to receive and entertain a large number of guests, and it is completely surrounded by a relaxing gardened courtyard. Access to the villa is through this magnificent exterior space. The rooftop, with an open-air living room and another covered space, allows the three families to enjoy the refreshing evenings together.