ETSAV Campus

Xavier Vancells + Franc Fernández + Carles Puig

competition 2nd Prize

The basic premises of this project were, on the one hand, to preserve the pre-existing empty space and, on the other, to avoid zoning the campus on the basis of the buildings’ placement on the lot, while not calling into question the existing building and car park, situated in the northern half of the lot. We came up with a single-floor building, partially underground (elevation +135), occupying the southern half of the lot.


This strategy allowed us to develop a project with the following characteristics:

By partially setting the building underground, its roof acts as the support on which the campus unfurls, propitiating a superimposition of programmes with a maximum economy of means and sustainabilty within the complex.

A system of green spaces is established: the access-streets are set at elevation +135 with garden-style vegetation, while the roof elevation of +139.5 is endowed with autochthonous plants suited to a hot climate, giving the complex the feel of a campus-park.

The partially buried building provides considerable thermal inertia. As the facades of the intermediate street-access spaces consist of metal netting covered with vegetation, they propitiate a high degree of control over the temperature and lighting, thereby creating a more humid microclimate. During the summer the building enjoys shade and its façade is protected from possible overheating, while in the colder months the sunlight – now less intense – can penetrate inside, significantly reducing the energy used for heating.

The building was designed as a structure with a high degree of flexibility that does not predetermine the form of the building and makes it possible to create a minimal façade capable of providing adequate ventilation and light. Evidence of the project’s great versatility is the capacity to modify the programme in the future (only 50% of the buildable land above level has been used) and also to progress in stages that always appear to represent a completed operation.

 Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona
 Research, sport, cultural, housing
 Area 20.100 / built 4.880m2
 ETSAV (Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura del Vallès), UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)


Xavier Vancells, Franc Fernández, Carles Puig
Joan Anguita, Anne-Sophie De Vargas.


competition 2nd Prize