Completely Neutral: ARV Offices by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos in Valencia
ARV Offices offer around 600 square metres of space for 45 employees over two storeys. Located in the centre of Valencia the office, which is nearly invisible from the street, fits among the existing buildings. The north-facing façade is completely clad in horizontally structured aluminum panels that ensure the ventilation of the windowless business space. Here, the building is accessed via a centrally positioned sliding glass door that leads visitors directly to the reception with its adjacent waiting area. The spaces have a complex, irregular geometry whose many different folds presented a special challenge for Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. The floor plan develops further rather like a hose before making a slight turn to the left in the rear area. This is home to a stairway that leads to the upper storey. The top floor is significantly smaller, but has its own terrace.
The two levels are programmatically delimited from each other: the ground floor is devoted to client traffic, while the offices are located upstairs. Both storeys follow the same concept in their design. Clear geometries and a black-and-white colour palette structure the commercial space. The only separation of the various functions takes place by means of colour fields in subtle shades of grey. Some of these go around corners or run crookedly, requiring a second look to be able to follow the sequences of the corners and pathways. An indirect lighting system draws lines on the ceiling. These guide visitors and accentuate certain directions of view. This makes the ceiling a constant, while the space beneath it changes in its use day by day.
The interior design gives nothing away concerning the past of these spaces. Fran Silvestre Arquitectos have surrounded all the columns, walls and ceilings with a second skin. This conceals the surfaces of the existing structure and gives ARV Offices their smooth, almost sterile impression. In the waiting area, additional digital information systems such as screens have been integrated into this shell. There are no decorative or playful elements here. The spaces become a neutral background, directing the focus entirely onto the program. They allow flexible use without prescribing a certain direction; they will also be able to respond to future changes.