The valley of Baztan is located in the North of Navarra, in the border with France, into a privileged environment, surrounded by mountains and composed of little villages.

The demolition of an old and famous school building, leaved an empty area for the economic development of the valley. The construction of the first building in this site generated some concern on the population for the impact that a pharmaceutical factory might have –the first project presented by an engineering firm was too rigid and hard-. The order comes as a request to solve the relationship between volume and environment.

The project is conceived as a reflection about the relationship between the volume and its surroundings. In general, the valley houses are “caserios”, typical constructions of slopped roofs, of small size, and the addition of them creates the image of the villages. In addition to that, the permanent presence of the wavy geometry of surrounding mountains. The result is an exercise of rooftops aggregation as an interpretation of architectures addition that helps to configure a volume capable of connecting tradition and nature.

Inside, the project follows the functional requirements derived from an industrial process. The project optimizes the resources, the volume and the circulations to allow the building to have the maximum flexibility and adaption to the processes.

Constructively the project is solved with a simple steel structure and one single material for the cladding, a drilled steel sheet, -facade and roof-, obtaining a stripped image that reminds –conceptually-, some old timber constructions blackened over time, typical of these latitudes.

source: Vaillo + Irigaray Architects