This new Research Centre at the University of La Laguna, Canary Islands, is intended to act as a centralized location for the scientific laboratories offering support to University research programs. The building is situated on the edge of the University Campus and is adjacent to a number of tended fields used by the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

Studio Name:  GPY Arquitectos
Design Team: Juan Antonio González Pérez, Urbano Yanes Tuña
Year: 2011
Constructed Surface: 2,364 m 2
Location:  Campus Universitario de Anchieta, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Consultants: GPI Ingenieros
Photography Credits: Joaquín Ponce de León, Urbano Yanes Tuña
Client: Universidad de La Laguna ULL

SEGAI Research Centre By GPY Arquitectos - Sheet3
©Joaquín Ponce de León, Urbano Yanes Tuña

While the laboratories and technical services are located below ground level and built using a stepped structure in direct reference to the nearby terraced fields, the part of the building that houses co-working offices, conference spaces and meeting rooms, which is the area meant to transfer the results of the research to society, is given special status by being raised above the rest and thereby converted into a point of reference for the network of public spaces on the campus.

SEGAI Research Centre By GPY Arquitectos - Sheet4
©Joaquín Ponce de León, Urbano Yanes Tuña

The large plaza situated at the building’s entrance links the office and research areas and illustrates the building’s continuity with the surrounding farmland. Below this level, a perimeter ring used for circulation, that acts as a filter between the interior and exterior, together with the linear patios define the building’s internal landscape and highlight the fact that this space is reserved for research.

The building’s semi-submerged distribution uses the existing land mass for passive insulation purposes, while the green roofs can be seen as a natural extension of the terraced farmland.

SEGAI Research Centre By GPY Arquitectos - Sheet5
©Joaquín Ponce de León, Urbano Yanes Tuña

The SEGAI acts as a landmark and transitional element that highlights the perception of continuity between the urban campus and the natural, rural landscape surrounding the building. Seen from the angle of the institution itself, the Centre is viewed as a sign of the University’s efforts to develop new forms of cooperation in business innovation and regional development.


GPY Arquitectos

GPY Arquitectos is formed by Juan Antonio González Pérez, Urbano Yanes Tuña, Constanze Sixt and Andrzej Gwizdala. We understand architecture as a spatial search for new forms of relating the human being with his surroundings, dissolving the limits between interior and exterior, public and private, urban and territorial. We understand the studio as a laboratory and the teaching of architectural projects as a creative and critical practice, inseparable from our professional practice. The scope of our action is broad, but we have a special interest in cultural and educational facilities; In general, public buildings thought of as a sequence of social spaces related to the city and the landscape. Our challenge is to propose imaginative solutions to the real problems of our society. The studio has received a number of high-profile awards, such as the AR Award of Emerging Architecture, the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award and the German Design Award. GPY was nominated for the European Union’s Contemporary Architecture Prize Mies van der Rohe and for the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize. GPY’s projects were featured internationally at the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and published in the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture, 1000xEuropean Architecture and 10x10_2. 100Architects 10 Critics.

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