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Rehabilitation of a building between party walls

Alfonso Alzugaray, arquitecto

Description Technical file

This rehabilitation project in the historic quarter of Pamplona carries out a complex typological exercise, with the objective of resolving the functionality of a floor plan of “impossible” dimensions in a brilliant way.
This project recovers the original use of a building abandoned between party walls in the historic quarter of Pamplona. This process aims to reconcile the difficult geometric condition of a very compact medieval urban pattern with basic and compulsory habitability conditions, without altering the essential characteristics which define the urban fabric. The dimensions, which at 20 metres in length and 2.20 in width make it truly complex to comply with strict habitability laws, were the project’s first appeal.
The project initially obtained a building permit with a solution which distributed two homes in an interwoven fashion thanks to two crossed stair sections, but during the floor replacement process an attractive series of entwined views and street‐to‐street transparencies became visible, which convinced the owner and technicians to work on a single home across five floors. Unsurprisingly, the only viable distribution involved positioning the stairs centrally to allow for rooms on either side, with lighting and ventilation on each of the façades.
The proposed work aims to emphasise, and ultimately base its image, on the characteristic constructive elements which define the building: the brick party walls, which were recovered from behind thick layers of plaster, and those which were well‐preserved were cleaned and grouted with lime mortar.
The staircase is a walkway with glass steps, providing good illumination of the central section along its full height. Together with a small domestic lift, it forms the heart of the project and resolves the brief with scant fixed partitions, opting rather for the flexibility provided by rotating wardrobes in some of the spaces.
The project proposes a new façade on Nueva Street, as a reflection of its longitudinal section: a striking indentation that is accessible from inside and is protected by a metal grille in a slight ascending sinusoidal shape that aims to accentuate the gap’s proportions. The façade on the opposite end is conserved, as it is listed under municipal regulations.

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Localización Location: Calle Nueva 15. Pamplona. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: Alfonso Alzugaray y Carlos Urzainqui. Arq. Colaborador Collaborator Architect: Leire Leoz. Aparejador Technical Architect: Pedro Legarreta Nuin. Estructuras Structures: FS estructuras. Promotor Promotor: Privado. Constructor Contractor: Construcciones COMAL. Superficie construida Built area 188 m2. Proyecto y construcción Project date and completion: 2007-2012. Fotografía Photography: Luis Prieto.
Alfonso Alzugaray
Pamplona, Navarra
Luis Prieto
Pamplona, Navarra