During the planning process for the Climate Museum in Lleida, the wording of the 2008 competition call was questioned. In it, and within an area of 12,000 m², a building of 3000 m² was requested, as a container and with a stable temperature ranging from 18 to 25 degrees throughout the year and with content displayed in all of its standard spaces, such as the exhibition halls. Alternatively, it was proposed to understand the natural climate and its processes as a true reflection of the proposal, diluting the limits and projecting the different transitions.
Tripling the area in some 36,000 m² and taking advantage of the fact that the surrounding areas were classified as a green area, a large public space is projected. Its materials obtained in the land’s movements are optimized, activating the vegetation of the place. As the climate is the object of the museum, the continent becomes the content, and by proposing not to use any artificial air conditioning, the budget is reduced to one third of what was envisaged in the initial statement.
Posing an inseparable framework between nature and the plots of existence, the earth's resource as a topography materializes in the walk between the sunny plateau and the dark valley. Likewise, the native vegetation and part of the building that surrounds it, are proposed as elements in harmony that go through the different microclimates generated.
Water and its natural cycle manage the different degrees of humidity, optimizing its use by gravity to cover the infrastructural needs of the building and the park, understanding both as a single public space in continuity.
The air appears as a warm breeze from the west in the plateau, and as cool cross-ventilation in the existing forest and the pergola of vegetation in reception area.
The fire, from the solar radiation on the skin and in a climate full of contrasts like the continental, heat is excessive in summer but necessary in winter. Here, solar rays are supplied in alternation with the shade provided at any given time by the ever-useful deciduous leaves.
Ultimately, the architecture exert the mediation in key of habitability, that facilitates the interaction between the different elements, enjoying sensations and diverse environmental and climatic contents.
Estudi d’Arquitectura Toni Gironès
Ayuntamiento de Lleida