Ruiz Pardo & Nebreda
Puma Energy El Salvador headquarters
best architects 21
The building is located on the Panamerican Highway passing through San Salvador and overlooks the road. A powerful cantilever connects it to the intensity of the traffic, reveals the interior activity and acts as an innovative element in the urban landscape. The building consists of two superimposed, crisscrossing blocks that interlace solids and voids all around them. Thus, a progressive sequence of compressions and expansions arranges and qualifies the circulation and access areas. The lower block demarcates a space that establishes intermittent relations with the exterior and is defined by walls with buttresses which support the roof slab. This configuration allows for the integration of continuous linear skylights parallel to the walls between the buttresses. This is where light enters. A vertical void links both blocks at their intersection and provides a visual connection between different levels and programmes. Here, the light is vertical and comes from skylights on the deck in contrast to the horizontal spatiality of the open office area located on the upper level. The upper block houses the offices and areas for collective use. Structurally, this block is resolved by two parallel, longitudinal gantries that produce two overhangs at opposite ends, and perpendicular beams between the gantries. This section emphasises the horizontal nature of the complex and relates to the horizon through a screen of steel panels which also act as inverted curtain wall supports and sun protection.