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Location: Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre, Tababela, Ecuador
Area: 545 m2
Architects: ESTUDIO 685 – www.estudio685.com
Design Team: Francisco Cevallos, Jorge Jarrín Coello
Photographs: Christian Obando
The APP-Q Project is a public infrastructure for national flight control. It is located inside Quito new international airport. Programmatic conditions are complex due to the work that is developed inside as well as site conditions. This project is behind the control tower of the airport. It may be interpreted as a horizontal control tower.
Design begins on generating global accessibility to the building. For this reason, the ramp becomes an articulating instrument for the space that has middle and superior levels that support all user demands. Not only the ramp provides normal accessibility but also the space is ergonomic to allow any person with motor handicap to perform its activities.
The building has three independent and accessible blocks: One for flight controllers, a second for technical purposes and a third for the headquarters. The second and third linked through the ramp as a vertical connection.
But why raise a second level if this could be solved with at a single level building? Tababela, the site of the building, has an extreme solar incidence. It was necessary to think about a strategy to condition the building interior using its geometry as a thermal instrument.
These weather characteristics were taken into consideration to develop weather conditioning without excessive mechanical systems:
– A pergola system protects the main circulation system: the ramp and the flight controllers block access
– The technical block is elevated above a column forest generation a shadow space and ventilation to all blocks.
– The second level block is above a column forest that allows free air circulation; it creates shadow to receive benefit of an empty space as a resting or transit area. This building type is difficult to understand due to its functional complexity but, the main of the project is to explain what happens at its interior taking benefit of the opportunity to re-think a public infrastructure with large accessibility requirements.
Worldwide flight control is managed through AIP technology. This technology gives support to all in-flight airplanes and sets the path to follow for each airplane which is the main axis for flight control. These paths give rise to the project insignia and are shown at the building façade. The paths traced are the ones for the most important cities in Ecuador. One of the routes that unify them lights itself as a mark of flight control in the space.
Many elements were re-thought around the accessibility concept: the project facade represent the Ecuadorian AIP map (airways), the most representative cities and this airways are carved with marks that can be visually and tactile perceived in the morning when close to the building which makes it material recognizable. As the carving cannot be seen at night, it was decided to represent the project through LED light that marks the facade with the principal axis among these airways. In this way, the global perception of the project is a whole.