Lleida – Alguaire Airport
The brief for this airport facility included a terminal building, a control tower and two workshops. The previously built suite of small pavilions lacked the necessary character for a representative infrastructure of this type. The underlying strategy of this operation is to merge the three programmes with a single formal gesture that finds a balance between striving to avoid the image of a strange artefact that has landed on the fields of Lleida and the desire to maintain its identifiable reference character. To this end, a huge mantle is wrapped across the building, unifying its various functions and structures, folding over the control tower to draw a powerful curve in a single identifiable gesture.
The new building, silhouetted against the clean, open farmland with its differently coloured textures, does not seek the usual formal metaphors of wings, birds or the realm of aerodynamics and technology. In this case, the combination of finishes —vegetation, wood and enamelled micro-perforated sheeting— generates a range of textures and hues that refer to the surrounding agricultural environment and thus connect the airport to the territory where it is inserted. The transfer of colours from the Alguaire croplands to the roof and outer walls, regularised and changed in scale, is not meant to be a mimetic camouflage but rather a direct allusion to the nature of this land and its identity. The result is an architecture that responds effectively to the complex aeronautical brief and also to the territorial and landscape requirements, enhancing the visitor’s appreciation of the surrounding environment, a quite unusual occurrence in this type of facility.