In the shade of granite

In the shade of granite

The occasion makes architecture in stone: and there can be no better occasion, in this context, than the design of a building for a company operating in the marble or natural stone sector. 

This is the background that enabled architects at OLAestudio to build a new showroom for Pavestone-DFG, a multinational based in Galicia, using granite – the company’s preferential material – in an original and innovative way, turning it into a delicate fabric capable of creating play with light and shadow.

An elementary space

The new building is located in the industrial area of Monçao, Portugal, a site lacking reference landmarks that is significantly exposed to sunshine for most of the year. The project had to envisage a substantially free space with the possibility of future growth and adaptation to different scenarios as they may arise. The implicit theme underlying the project is to demonstrate the company’s technical expertise in processing natural stone materials.


A simple linear volume with a shed-type roof recalls industrial architecture through a simple construction with a metal structure and perimeter enclosures in glass, polycarbonate and sheet metal. The interior of this minimalist factory is home to offices, services and free spaces used to display materials. The atmosphere is clear and bright: a stage that enhances the quality of natural stones of show.

Texture

The volume of the showroom has windows on the north face and is completely enclosed on the east side. The entire wall of the south face is characterised by a sun-breaker installation implemented with “V” shaped Azul Platino granite elements arranged to form a woven fabric thanks to the alternating arrangement of the individual pieces, standing on top of each other and hinged by a thin steel bar. On the west side, sunlight is attenuated by a span-portico clad with granite slabs that have a texture similar to that of the adjacent sheet metal; the vertical wall is also made up of granite elements in the form of bars with square bases rotated 45° to ensure an optimal response to the angle of sunlight.

Architects and company

Architect Oscar López Alba has managed OLAestudio since 2010. The firm is based in La Coruña, Galicia, north-west Spain. The studio focuses on projects of various scales, both public and private, and always seeks to exploit opportunities to optimise available resources. With Pavestone, a company belonging in the DFG group that has quarries all over the world, the opportunity came about thanks to avant-garde technology for cutting and optimising natural stone. In this context, the new Monçao showroom is the “happy encounter” between the design rigour of the architects and the material made available by the company itself as the natural means for expressing its identity.

Credits

Location: Monçao, Portugal
Client: DFG Pavestone
Project: OLAestudio – Óscar López Alba arquitectos
Collaborators: Joao Aldeia, Lucía Fernández, Fátima Nieves, Enrique Ramos and Ezequiel Fernández
Completion: 2018
Images: Imagen Subliminal

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