A new entrance to an apartment building in Pamplona
Monreal Santos Arquitectos
Pamplona, the capital city of the Autonomous Community of Navarre in Spain, was founded 21 centuries ago by the Ancient Romans and today is best known worldwide for the festival of its patron saint San Fermín. The festivities last for precisely 204 hours, beginning with the launch of a chupinazo or rocket from the balcony of the city’s town hall at midday on 6 July and ending at midnight on 14 July.
Much loved by Hemingway, the week-long festival of San Fermín is best known for the tradition of the «running of the bulls» through the city’s crowded squares and streets. The celebrations combine elements of religious, profane, institutional and popular ceremonies, the archaic myth of the bull, abundant libations and tributes to Eros and Thanatos.
Although Pamplona has seen considerable expansion since the 1960s, effective city planning has ensured that the old town coexists harmoniously with the new areas, connected by gardens and tree-lined avenues dating from different periods.
In Avenida San Jorge, in one of these new neighbourhoods, the architecture practice Monreal-Santos was commissioned to redesign the entrance hall of a traditional apartment building. Architect Borja Monreal commented: «The project involved eliminating the architectural barriers present at the entrance to a residential building constructed in the late 1970s. We completely redesigned the interior and exterior of the entrance hall, lowering the lift entrance to street level and adapting the ground-floor staircase.
«With this project we attempted to give the entrance a new image that would be closer to contemporary architecture, using straight lines, indirect lighting and high-quality contemporary materials to create neutral spaces. In particular we chose porcelain tile for both the floor and the walls.»
The result is a highly uniform space where the joints between the floor and walls are concealed by the use of tiles of the same type and size (Action series from Fondovalle, 60×120 cm), installed in a 1/3 staggered offset pattern to create a kind of seamless skin that envelops visitors. The most surprising aspect is the use of thin ceramic materials as a finishing element and for the doors, which remain visible but assume an air of mystery.
Architect Germán Santos continued: «For the new stairs we used painted steel and glass, while the floor is tiled with the same material as the entrance hall to maintain the greatest possible sense of overall uniformity. This helps create the impression of neutrality and harmony that was sought right from the start of the project.»
The entrance combines fresh aesthetics with improved accessibility in keeping with design-for-all principles.
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA; ULA, UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant