Architecture Icon in the Dominican Republic

Interview with Architect Oscar Torrejón from Luis vidal + arquitectos

1. What was the original concept?

The concept and purpose of the project, has always been to generate an architectural icon, with its own identity that visually transmits the new image of Studio Legal Terrero & Mejía. We relied on the concepts of future, innovation, and quality, to achieve a greater presence at street level.

2. How did you approach the project?

The refurbishment was carried out on an existing single-storey building, which had a very basic image, and without any particular identity. Taking advantage of the characteristics of the materials, we created an interior space, which offered a greater feeling of size and lightness, via reflections and choices of materials. Inside, we eliminated any elements that distorted our global objective, unifying the materials used and introducing a small extension, used by both the reception and waiting rooms.

3. How was the vision eventually realized?

Our objective was to create a flexible workspace area, surrounded by a unique facade, as well as, a waiting room that departed from the initial design geometry. These elements, when viewed in concert, pays homage to the over-all design theme. The result aims to reflect the evolution and growth of Studio Legal Terrero & Mejía, and their constant effort, to advance their offering of – best professional services. We also wanted the new offices to acquire an identity, which would honor the memory of the past, and in-turn become a point of reference at both national and regional levels.

4. How did the geography of the area affect the design?

The environment, is an orthogonal plot of irregular buildings, in terms of both scale and morphology. This plot provided us with a good opportunity, to create a risky but unique proposal, for the city of Santo Domingo.

5. How did the geography of the area effect construction, were there any challenges and were there any unforeseen benefits, etc.?

The plot presented, basic urbanization of concrete floors and buildings, and had no apparent design value. Based on this, we worked on the transformation of these elements through simple, but very effective design operations.

6. How did Danpalon (another system) contribute to the aesthetic creation of the vision?

The characteristics of the material and its technical qualities, were perfect for us, to create a new image for Studio Legal Terrero & Mejía. The ability to construct the envelope, whilst simultaneously carrying out other works, is invaluable and further reinforced our material choice. An almost endless variety of colors and textures, allowed us to generate a balanced array for the volume. In addition, the material was utilized, not only on the building’s exterior but in the interior as well. This brought much-needed coherence to the discourse of the various routes and offered a fresh, updated image of the spaces.

7. How did Danpatherm Systems help create the vision/build technically?

The chosen system allowed us to bet on a dry construction system, with prefabricated elements, which offered the advantage of rapid execution.

8. What surprised you about the building at the end?

Once the set was designed, we knew what we would find in the end. What really happened, was that we found that the decisions we made, had been right all along.
One thing that was especially gratifying, was to discover that the reflections of the sky on the material, were very defined. This effect, allowed the building to capture the clouds in the Dominican sky, offering back to us, light and evocative image.

9. What if anything, surprised you about the Danpal systems?

The most surprising thing was to discover in situ, the aesthetic qualities of the material. Its finishes and nuances offer us, a wide range of possibilities for its use, to intensify the design-load on buildings.

10. Has the material worked the way you expected in your original expectations?

In general, the material has exceeded all expectations.

 

Details of the Project:

Facade System: Danpal® TP multicellular polycarbonate self-supporting system.
Danpal® DANPATHERM K7 multicellular polycarbonate system.
Roofing System: DANPATHERM RK7 multicellular polycarbonate system.
Panel Thickness: 10mm, 12mm, and 16mm.
Color: Ice + Softlite with Low-E GOLD; ICE + Softlite; ICE with Litmus Green;
Danpalon Kinetic White & Orange; BRONZE BR35.
Area: 500 SQM.
Danpal Partner in Dominican Republic: Plasticos Comerciales

 

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