Bold Graphics Transform a Wastewater Plant in Spain

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To revitalize a wastewater treatment station near Oviedo, Spain, Padilla Nicás arquitectos used one material: paint.

Padilla Nicás arquitectos‘ assignment to refresh the Villapérez Wastewater Treatment Plant was a challenging one. The Madrid-based firm was asked to “give a new face” to the buildings, but budget constraints meant that new construction was impossible. Unable to alter the layout or structure of the buildings on the 21-hectare site, Padilla Nicás arquitectos used paint to fulfil its commission.

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The original structures were built in the early ’90s, realized with concrete blocks plastered in yellow and topped with red sheet metal roofs. Using a palette of white, black, yellow, blue, and dark turquoise, the firm gave each of the buildings a unique graphic identity with a decidedly modern aesthetic. The entrances of each structure were painted a rich yellow shade, creating some cohesion across the site, and each building was completed with painted signage or a symbol to help visually identify its function.

The assignment also included work on three new buildings whose foundations were already built and whose structures couldn’t be radically changed. Padilla Nicás arquitectos completed the buildings with prefabricated panels painted with the same graphic treatment to ensure their integration with the existing structures.

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