Francisco MANGADO

Bioma Museum University of Navarra+



20.200 m2

The BIOMA project is essentially a synthesis project.

Programmatic synthesis. It combines research, teaching and exhibition. Spaces of different scales and functions that, although related in that all three make up the BIOMA institution, are different in essential matters such as the degree of their public dimension.

Citizen synthesis. The University of Navarra is based and configured on very different urban structures. On the one hand, in the “lower part”, it is configured as the most attractive park in the city. Its isolated buildings are nothing more than points, elements scattered and at the same time united by this great green fabric, natural and adapted to the topography, which is in itself one of the most interesting public spaces in Pamplona. On the other hand, the upper part, more urban and densified, where the educational centers belong to a plot configured according to traffic roads and urban continuities. The new BIOMA building, located between both parts of the Campus, has to assume its belonging to both, configuring itself as a synthesis of these two dimensions and urban structure and turning them into a single and specific one.

Landscape synthesis that is reflected in the fact that the building is a meeting place between an elevated plane, a sort of horizontal platform, and an abrupt topography that descends towards the south, towards the campus park. A building that, from below, will be seen as a “lighthouse”, a reference with symbolic overtones while, seen from above, it will be the “viewpoint” that projects its magic towards the lower campus.

But it is in the synthesis of such different and even contradictory situations, in the general tensions for a complex reality, welcoming complexity, where a project capable of becoming something attractive and suggestive becomes possible. BIOMA tries to reach a compromise, by no means impossible, between the most artificial order and the most organic disorder; between the most mineral materiality and light as an abstract fact; between being a viewpoint or a lighthouse; between seeking maximum efficiency but also those values that symbolize and are capable of expressing the will of a University that wants to reaffirm itself with the pride of things well done; between the built and the natural. I have said on several occasions that this is for me the most difficult project I have ever faced, and I believe it is also the most attractive. This difficulty exists thanks to the contradiction, which being a problem becomes, at the same time, a fruitful crucible in which to make architecture. BIOMA aspires to be a great synthesis from a continuous and beautiful contradiction.