This Security Centre is the first of its kind on the Canary Islands. It aims to offer a better service to society by an integrated approach, bringing the offices of different police forces, the Civil Guard and the National Police Force, under a single roof.
Studio Name: GPY Arquitectos
Design Team: Juan Antonio González Pérez, Constanze Sixt, Urbano Yanes Tuña
Collaborator: Laura Pérez Rodríguez, Luis Darias, Edward Lynch
Constructed Surface: 4325 m 2
Location: Vecindario, Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
Consultants: GPI Ingenieros, Reveriego y Asociados Arquitectos S.L.
Photography Credits: Efraín Pintos, Joaquín Ponce de León
Client: Ministry of the Interior of Spain
The building is located in a residential neighbourhood characterised by marginal building practices and exponential growth, singularly lacking in public facilities. In this context, the building is integrated into its surroundings through a continuation of the pattern of the surrounding blocks. Its continuous skin traces the limits of the plot on the second floor, while opening up on the ground floor, offering a space of urban encounter.
A suspended volume which is completely closed off from the outside defines the institutional scale of the building. It contains more private offices, as well as the police chief’s residence and is organised around a series of interior patios, offering a protected, luminous, inward-looking space that is adapted to the private nature of investigative police work of the various police units and squads located on the upper floor.
The system of interior patios, interconnected by means of a central circulation ring, organizes the interior. The patios serve to illuminate both the workspaces and the circulation routes. The alternating layout of the patios creates the perception of a single workspace that allows for a common sense of corporate purpose and promotes teamwork, while maintaining the privacy of the diverse police units.
On the main floor, adjoining the entrance foyer, we find the more public uses of the building – the Documentation and Immigration Office and the Complaints Office – which create a connection with the local community by opening up to the public space via a covered porch. Diaphanous waiting rooms open onto gardens located both inside and outside the building. On the street level the borders between interior and exterior are dissolved in a continuous space, transparent and open, that forms an extension of the urban space. Transparency and proximity to society are the new concepts defining the Security Centre as a place open to the community.
GPY Arquitectos is formed by Juan Antonio González Pérez, Urbano Yanes Tuña, Constanze Sixt and Andrzej Gwizdala. We understand architecture as a spatial search for new forms of relating the human being with his surroundings, dissolving the limits between interior and exterior, public and private, urban and territorial. We understand the studio as a laboratory and the teaching of architectural projects as a creative and critical practice, inseparable from our professional practice. The scope of our action is broad, but we have a special interest in cultural and educational facilities; In general, public buildings thought of as a sequence of social spaces related to the city and the landscape. Our challenge is to propose imaginative solutions to the real problems of our society. The studio has received a number of high-profile awards, such as the AR Award of Emerging Architecture, the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award and the German Design Award. GPY was nominated for the European Union’s Contemporary Architecture Prize Mies van der Rohe and for the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize. GPY’s projects were featured internationally at the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and published in the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture, 1000xEuropean Architecture and 10x10_2. 100Architects 10 Critics.