Construction of the new technical engineer´s school
Project management:
Execution period:
University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU)
13,387,146.35  €  
Federico Franchés, Manu Gamboa, José Antonio Gurrutxaga, Eneka Alonso
November 2001 - January 2004
San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa


The work consisted of executing the construction of, and complementary town planning works on, the new University School of Industrial Technical Engineers of Donostia-San Sebastián.

The building houses Laboratories, Offices, Lecture Rooms and General Services (Dean's Office, Administration and Secretary's Office, Caretaker's Office, Archives, Cleaning, Bar-Dining Hall, Reproduction-Publications, Students, Halls, Media and Library).

The intended composition of the premises is the mixture or union of four volumes joined together by a fifth that comprises the general areas where people walk or sit, and absorbs the interstitial spaces left by the other four volumes.

The four volumes are:

  • 2 rectangular prisms placed in the central park of the building and aligned in parallel and against the external alignments of said area. In their floor plan these prisms represent measurements of 62 x 13 m2  and 30 x 13 m2 respectively, and are called blocks B and D.
  • The other two blocks, A and C, are two circular crown sectors and constitute the wings of the central structure just defined. These measure approximately 83 and 37 m. wide on their upper floors.

 The curved blocks, A and C, are faced with cenia limestone and their joinery is of anodized aluminium.

The prismatic blocks, B and D, are basically of sheet aluminium, to offset the stone.

Finally, volume E, which is the nexus that joins up and articulates the other four, is of glass curtain walling to leave this intended composition on full display.

Turning now to the CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM, its main features were:

Foundations and structure

The foundations are based on driven prefabricated piles that penetrate down to the bedrock.

A reinforced floor slab ensures the watertightness of the foundations.

The structure is of reinforced concrete, both in the pillars and in the stair slabs, lift walls and load-bearing walls.

The horizontal structure was executed with waffle slabs of voided concrete cornices on the façades, etc.


All the roofs are inverted flat roofs, and some of them are designed to be walked on (access to rooms with installations or the roof terrace above the library).

The technique adopted was to pump cellular concrete onto the load-bearing roof deck, and lay waterproofing of a double asphalt membrane, sheets of rigid extruded polystyrene foam and filtering geotextile felt.

On top of these, in the case of the roofs designed to be walked on we fitted load-distributing plots and reinforced hydraulic tiles; and in the case of the other roofs, we spread loose smooth pebbles to a minimum depth of 6 cm.


Basically we used three types of closure:

  • Facing stone: we used two types of stone -cenia and grey limestone. The stones were placed in position according to the ventilated façade system. The closures of the lower part and, in general, all the ground floor ones wer done with direct facing.
  • Aluminium over profiles: The façades of the structure containing the lecture rooms were executed as a ventilated façade of metallic silver-coloured lacquered aluminium panels.
  • Glass-panelled wall: The structural element that joins together blocks A, B and C is a large structure built with a panel wall from floor to ceiling of each floor and is mounted on supporting profiles of anodized aluminium.


The building has the following installations:

  • Foul water drainage.
  • Supply of water for consumption.
  • Heating, air conditioning and ventilation.
  • Natural gas.
  • Laboratory gases.
  • Fire protection.
  • Electricity: High voltage.
  • Electricity: Low voltage.
  • Voice and data.
Town planning works

The town planning works consisted of:

  • Execution of levelled and waterproofed low walls of concrete blocks which serve to retain the slopes around the perimeter. The wallas are faced with thin flagstones of limestone, and are topped with the same so as to form a continuous bench.
  • Paving consisting of self-supporting 40 x 60 cm. flagstones, the colour of cenia stone (grey limestone), with fixing mortar.
  • Paving consisting of 20 x 10 x 6 cm. grey-coloured concrete flagstones, laid on a bed of sand and with dry joints.
  • Flooring of iroko wood, in the central area of the plaza, set on iroko laths to form a raised filtering floor.
  • Foul water drainage.
  • Public lighting.
  • Automatic plant watering system.
  • Garden features.
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