Project: Research Institutes.
Architects: Manuel Gallego Jorreto.
Location: South Campus.
In relation to the project of four buildings to be used as research centres, which the University of Santiago commissioned for its South Campus, only one had a well-defined use: it would house ceramic and glass experimentation.
Their architect, Manuel Gallego Jorreto, who was awarded the National Architecture Prize in the year 2000, conceived these research centres as four prismatic volumes laid out in a row. The four pieces form a coherent unit, underlined by the continuity of the plinths, which absorb the different slopes of the terrain and situate the tree-filled gardens to which the study areas are oriented. These study areas, which face south, divided each building's completely glazed façade into three planes, which form a concave line in the ground plan. This layout introduces a clear directionality that organises and stimulates the complex. There is a series of subtle differences between each of the four volumes, linked to their usage or position, which enriches their close-up observation. The visit to these building should also include their perception from the Santiago-Noia road, from a car, from where the repeated pieces are viewed as a sequence that introduces order and a suitable limit to the organisation of the South Campus.
The research buildings' façades are finished with large grey granite slabs that, in some parts, have openings to provide ventilation. The glass planes are located just behind the thin slabs of stone. This stone exterior provides, with its uniform texture and colour, a technological nature that enriches the architectural meanings linked to the contemporary usage and status of this interesting complex of buildings.