Puma Energy’s headquarter in Paraguay is located on Av. Spain, one of the main streets of the city with high traffic intensity and undergoing transformation. The surroundings are defined by buildings of two and three heights which are intertwined with the greenery as well as with utility poles, billboards and cables.
Architects: Ruiz Pardo – Nebreda (Marcelo Ruiz Pardo and Sonia Nebreda)
Location: Asunción, Paraguay
Promoter: Puma Energy Paraguay
Consultants: Structures: Arup, Mecanismo
Facilities: Arup, Jg Ingenieros
Local partner: Cialpa
Contributors: Arturo Alberquilla, Alejandra M. De La Riva, Loreto Moreno, Javier E. Lecumberri
Completion: March 2016
Size: 1.655 m2
Photographies: Jesús Granada
The corporate headquarter is located on a corner plot and thus, highly visible and in contact with urban traffic. Taking advantage of this situation, the building rises from the ground on four pillars releasing the ground floor, which allows a direct connection between the city and the building. Thereby, working spaces are concentrated in an elevated block, surrounded by greenery and isolated from the bustle of street.
Public ground floor
The project has a clear urban vocation. Ground floor is conceived as a flexible space without a specific program, in direct relation with the street and covered by the large concrete slab. The enclosure of the lobby is conceived as a series of concatenated doors that may be completely opened for public events. Therefore, ground floor acts as an extension of the city into the building where interior and exterior merge, as well as their public and private nature.
The office block is supported by four concrete pillars only, which not only determines an open ground floor, but also an office space completely diaphanous and without structural constraints. Thus the perception of spaciousness and flexibility for possible changes in the future distribution is favored.
The horizontal structure is materialized in two-way post-tensioned slabs, avoiding thick solutions and favoring the necessary compactness due to height limitations set by the local regulations to 12m. high. The slabs are optimized thanks to the inner location of the pillars which compensates for large spans of approximately 15 meters by creating a continuous overhang all around the perimeter which acts as a large threshold for public access.
The façade solution is conceived for a double purpose. On one hand, it has been designed to maximize natural light while minimizing solar heat loads. On the other hand, is has been conceived to be perceived as light veil; a cloud of slender profiles, which perception is dynamic while the user moves around it by car or on foot. The building creates a visual dialogue with the spectator as he or she moves around it.
Its configuration, based on the addition of vertical profiles arranged on slightly curved facades, allows a dynamic and vibrant perception of it from the passing vehicles. The slightly curved contour of the building stresses the relationship with its immediate surroundings, towards and away from the neighbouring buildings and nearby trees.
The resulting perception either from the inside or from the outside is of a light and slender veil, an abstract and dynamic urban block which is detached from the ground, and suspended in the air.
Ruiz Pardo-Nebreda is Madrid-based architecture and engineering practice founded in 2011 by Marcelo Ruiz Pardo architect and Sonia Nebreda building engineer, as a multidisciplinary team that operates worldwide according to an adequate balance between local knowledge and global expertise.
They office has completed works in Namibia, Zambia, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Spain. Their work has been exhibited in several international biennials of architecture in Argentina, Quito and El Salvador, as well as in international exhibitions in Japan, Argentina, Germany, Ecuador, El Salvador and the United States. Their work has been widely published in books and in international magazines such as Domus, Architectural Review, The Plan, UA Urbanism and Architecture, Detail or ARQA, among others. In addition, they have been awarded in international architectural competitions in Spain, Italy and Switzerland, where they are professionally registered.
Recently his work has been recognized with the Europe 40 under 40 Award, The Plan Award 2019, the International Architecture Award 2019 and 2017, the Grand Prize of the Architecture and Urbanism Biennial of El Salvador (XIIBAUES 2016), the Luis M. Prize Mansilla 2016, and the S.Arch International Award 2017, in addition to the X NAN Award 2017 for the best project of a Spanish study abroad, among other important awards.
Marcelo Ruiz Pardo
Marcelo Ruiz Pardo (Spain 1980) studied architecture at the Madrid School of Architecture (ETSAM). He is Lecturer of Architectural Design at the ETSAM, where he is also a PhD candidate and a member of several Research Groups, Innovation Teaching Groups and Development Cooperation Groups. He has taught seminars and conferences in international congresses on university teaching.
Sonia Nebreda (Burgos, 1979) is graduated in Technical Architecture at the Universidad de Burgos (UBU) and in Building Engineering at the Nebrija University in Madrid. She holds a Postgraduate degree in Project Management by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC).