The Arquia Office located in the center of Palma de Mallorca is the project developed by the RipollTizon studio. The assignment consisted in the reform and adaptation of an existing premises for its adaptation as a bank office of this entity.
The premises formed by ground floor and basement is located on the corner, under a residential building with an irregular floor. The openings of the façade are wide and elongated, responding to the structure of the building, connecting with the wide and tree-lined sidewalk that precedes the place, acting as a large plaza.
In the project, the connection with the public space is a key point for the development of the Arquia Office, understanding it as an extension of the square. The new office creates a direct relationship between interior and exterior and converts the banking activity into the product exposed to the street.
The Arquia Office in Palma de Mallorca manages to create a warm space within a commonly cold activity, which connects both the user and the city
The structural modifications necessary to allow the connection of the ground floor to the level of the street are carried out. The union of the two floors takes place through a large gap next to the façade. The position of this hole allows the entrance of natural light to the lower floor and allows the connection through the new staircase.
At the programmatic level, the new Arquia Office takes advantage of the L shape of the premises to distribute the different uses. The public areas are located next to the facade, relegating the most private spaces towards the interior, together with the storage spaces that are attached to the medians.
On the other hand, the materiality of the project responds in the same way to dialogue between exterior-interior, public-private. They opt for materials from the area and made by local artisans. The spatiality is favored by the sequence of wooden vaults that accompanies the public area of the proposal. These vaults help to integrate the rhythm of the structure of pillars and at the same time hide the facilities.
On the other hand, the vertical walls are made with light framework and are covered with natural wood or lacquered MDF board. The paving of the customer area is carried out by handcrafted hydraulic tiles and grout cement mortar, with a subsequent polishing of the set. This pavement reminds us of the traditional mosaics of the city center. The fixed furniture is manufactured in a terrazzo manufacture of the same composition as the rest of the pavement.
Photograph by José Hevia.