Villena's City Hall. Villena, Spain
As a fundamental formal and structural element both historically and architecturally, a central patio articulates and gives meaning to this entire building around which everything revolves.
As a fundamental formal and structural element both historically and architecturally, a central patio articulates and gives meaning to this entire building around which everything revolves. This Renaissance period patio was part of the first and main building phase, dated to 1502. This classicist concept is related to the circle of Jacobo Florentino and his disciple Jerónimo Quijano. Square in plan, the patio is structured by eight Tuscan columns between arches in each gallery. At ground level, the details in the moldings and spandrels are retained as well as coffers in the intrados of all the arches.
New elements like skylights and staircases are expressed distinctly, yet sympathetic to the nature of the older elements. Materiality and detailing needs to be sensitive to the old. Vertically, the building is organised around the existing historical staircase with a new volume that runs through the three floors of the building. The upper staircase from first to second floor is detached from the walls and light to avoiding any visual conflict with the historical built-in staircase and external wall.
Multi-functionality and flexibility of space was our goal when it came to distributing the floor plans and formalising the programme. Retaining the patio as the focus, our approach at all times was to respect this so its peripheral corridors became the line of communication and connection for all departments at all levels.