The new Basque Health Department Headquarters designed by the Coll-Barreu Arquitectos is located in Bilbao, Spain. The building is a centerpoint of two important streets on a crossroad.
The building concentrates services and communications in a vertical spine attached to the longest party hedge and generates seven open floors assigned for offices. Above this, there are two floors for local representative and institutional use. The board hall takes up the double height of the tower. The assembly hall, its lobby and its appendages are situated in the first basement. Further below there are two parking floors and one fourth level for archives. The car lifts allow access to all the basement levels.
The double façade solves not only urban requirements but also those concerning energetic, fire-resistant and acoustic insulation from outside. This climatic improvement enables the elimination of the conventional air-conditioning installation as well as the false ceiling. Thus, the sound produced by the building is reduced, air recirculation in workplaces disappears, with a significant increase of health conditions.
The folded façade generates multiple visual from inside to the streets bellow, and also from the highest floors to the landscape that surrounds the city, a highly effective mechanism for the incorporation of urban vitalism inside the building. The workspace benefits of the permeable, passable and liveable volume of the façade, that enables the building breathing and the space exchange between inside and outside. The system facade of the building is similar to the experience of sitting at the door of a house, above the threshold, with an eye toward the road and the back into the home.