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ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development R&D Asturias [SLab]. 2011 ......................................

"I'm not talking about the space outside of the shape, that rounds the volume, the one where the forms live, I'm talking about the space that the forms create, the one that lives in and the one, that is much more active when is hidden"

Eduardo Chillida.

The new building of ArcelorMittal's Global Research & Development Center in the north of Spain is composed of a set of metallic volumes, in colours that remind of those resulting from the steel production process. It consists of a steel structure with ACB® cellular beams and composite flooring, ST Lumiére and ST 300 were used for the cladding.

Architectural concept

The concept of the new ArcelorMittal Global Research and Investigation Center was born at the architect's first visit to the site, taking into account its industrial history.

The slab parks of the ArcelorMittal factory, located just next to the area where the new building was planned, provided the inspiration for the project: the urge to play with these great steel pieces was present from the beginning in the architect's drawings and working models. In course of the work, the slabs were given life and content as if they were sculptures of Richard Serra, Eduardo Chillida or Jorge Oteiza.

The result was the creation of an urban building that maintains the essence of the streets, courtyards and emotions to be experienced in the historical center of Avilés. A number of modular volumes (slabs) are piled up to form the building, leaving space for patios, terraces and viewpoints.

The aim was the creation of a building, both living and to be lived in, with large accessible roofs that offer stunning views of the city, the firth and the sea. The building's functions go beyond these of a business park: it constitutes a new space for the city that can host any type of cultural and artistic event apart from those of the steel industry.

It is an industrial building that establishes a connection with the ArcelorMittal factory, the landscape dominated by old chimneys, cranes, ships, and the city of Avilés, in its advanced process of expansion and modernization.

The visitor is received by a set a volumes that open up to the south, towards the city. The colour red accompanies occasionally the different access points and inner circulations, reminding this way of the main colours during the steel production process.

The interiors are full of light, contrasting its dark exteriors. The building's steel structure is visible, so is a great part of its technical installations.

ArcelorMittal steel

The building's steel structure consists of IPE, HEA and HEB sections, in S-275JR steel grade with different dimensions, and ACB® cellular beams, fabricated from IPE 400 and 450 sections. The flooring system is realized with the composite flooring system Cofraplus 60. For the façades, the perforated ST Lumiere and ST 300, an aesthetic panel with plain surface, were used, both made of black prepainted steel. The stairs in the courtyard stand out with their red colour and are made with tear plates, also supplied by ArcelorMittal.