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About me Curriculum vitae Selected works Transport Cultural Educational Hospitality Heritage Landscape Artist’s impression Senior thesis

About me I am an Architect post graduated at the Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSAVA) in Valladolid, Spain. During my last year at the university, I combined my studies with practise, seeking to learn by experience in a studio. I obtained a grant to the best academic records at the University of Valladolid which carried out in IPE SLU practice during seven months. After finishing my Final Master Project, I decided to continue my professional career abroad, an adventure that is enriching me both professionally and personally. I am currently based in London working as a Part II Architectural Assistant, improving and refining my design skills, critical thinking, theoretical knowledge and portfolio. This experience has shown me that I am an active and eager person at work, with the ability to adapt myself to different tasks and work as a team or individually. I consider myself a responsible, organized and creative person who is always quite attentive to details. About my personal interests, I am a passionate about photography and the power of visual arts, as much in architecture and design as in fashion. I am really curious about the different cultures and places that exist around the world, because of that, I love travelling, always having a very open mind to new knowledge.


Curriculum vitae Personal details Sara López Varona Architect 20th January 1992

Sep.15 - Sep.16 Sep.10 - Sep.15

13 Elm Court Royal Oak Yard London SE1 3TP Apr.17 - Aug.17 Contact +44 (0)7709038184 / (+34) 628263359 saralopezvarona@gmail.com Jul.15 - Jan.16 Social Media saralopezvarona saralopezvarona slovaro




Advanced Intermediated Spanish English

Education Master of Architecture. Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSAVA), University of Valladolid (Spain). Bachelor of Architecture. Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSAVA), University of Valladolid (Spain). Work experience John McAslan + Partners, London (United Kingdom). Part II Architectural Assistant. - Belfast Transport HUB (Stage 2,3): transport and landscape team. - Visualizer: artist´s impressions for several projects. IPE SLU, Valladolid (Spain). Intern architect. Grant to the best academic records at University of Valladolid, by Santander Bank. - “Cartagena’s Promenade” Competition. - Public projects (Stage 2,3): concept design / develop design Competition awards ISOVER Multi-Comfort House 2014. The school of tomorrow. Gaziantep (Turkey). 1st Local Prize - 2nd National Prize. Project: Fold (Javier González González + Adrián López Varona + Sara López Varona). Exhibitions “Internacional Price and Exhibition of University Projects in Schools of Architecture and Landscape”. Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Barcelona (Spain). Project: The landscape over time. “Open day ETSAVA”. University of Valladolid, Valladolid (Spain). Project: Promenade. Computer skills AutoCAD 2D+3D / Adobe Photoshop / Adobe InDesign / Adobe Illustrator / Microsoft Office MicroStation 2D / 3D Studio Max+Vray/ SketchUP Languages Native language Upper intermediate


Selected works

Belfast Transport Hub


Double atmosphere


Urban pattern


Natural interaction

Reinventing the pre-existence

The landscape over time


Belfast Transport Hub / Belfast, United Kingdom

MULTI MODAL TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE. By John McAslan + Partners The Hub is a strategically significant project for Northern Ireland. The proposal involves developing an integrated transport facility that will form a key gateway into Belfast City Centre. Located on the side of the current Bus Centre and Train Station, the project will deliver a new city neighbourhood, offering a significant regeneration opportunity for the city to deliver a dynamic and imaginative mixed-use proposal. The Hub is a contemporary and elegant building with a carefully considered materiality and mass. The overarching architectural intent is one of timeless-need, purity of line and simplicity of materials, employing local materials, colour palette, strong colonnade base and framed entrance with an upper level composed of a grant swept canopy, warmly lit to invite and “sweep� one into the building. The transparent boundary opens the space and enhances intuitive wayfinding as well as provides the maximum amount of natural light and visibility to the city from inside the building. The strong horizontality of the Hub is articulated through the folded roof form which itself has been the focus of detailed study into efficient passive ventilation and daylight through north lit glazing. It is intentionally folded as if an oversized piece of linen, in reference to the local industry heritage of flax spinning and linen wearing. The framed, deep truss solution allows for minimal columns internally, delivering a clutter free environment and allowing the hierarchy of key functions inside to be seen and understood. Exterior view: walking route through an improved retail street

East elevation: colonnade


Exterior view: station square and Hub

Roof plan: Hub and masterplan


Ground floor: Hub


First floor: Hub

West elevation: platforms

Cross section: platforms /retail / concourse

Longitudinal section: concourse

South elevation: bus canopy


Interior view: bus concourse


Gutter Metal roof system Metal roof system


Slatted timber suspended ceiling


Structural truss

Structural truss

Terracotta rainscreen facade system

Black glazed rainscreen facade system

Plasterboard suspended ceiling

Flush double door Carpet floor

Carpet floor

Plasterboard suspended ceiling


Flush double door

Plasterboard over brick wall

Flush double door

Flush double door

Frameless glass balustrade

Flush double door

Stone floor

Stone floor


Constructive detail: terracotta facade

Constructive detail: black glazed facade


Double atmosphere / Valladolid, Spain

EXTENSION OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCULPTURE IN VALLADOLID AS A HOLY WEEK MUSEUM. Final Master Project /2ND SEMESTER (M. ARCH) The main idea of the project tries to contribute a new look to the Holy Week tradition, keeping in mind the current dualism in the area: the coexistence between the new and the historic architecture and the relation between tradition and modernity. The project is placed in the museum-street, becoming the element that unifies the architectural heritage and being the continuation of the urban space, considering that the public square, where the museum promenade is finished, comes into the new museum. The contemporary art provides the new look to the tradition, playing an important role to design the programme. There are three fundamental spaces: two lateral rooms, one for the ancient art, and the other one for the contemporary art; and the central communication link of the museum, which is the space that makes sense of the rest ones, it is called the sensory ramp. The large and illuminated space of the lateral rooms opposes to the narrow and dark sensory ramp. The structure, the light and the materials bring together to create a rhythmical and variable emotion that walks with the sculptures. The prefabricated reinforced concrete structure and the wood, which is present like a material and like a texture, both emphasise the personality of each space. The light, which is the element that makes sense of the museum, penetrates the space through the glass ceiling as a regulated light that intensifies the strong rhythm of the structure and creates a variable atmosphere between the different rooms and during the many hours of the day.

Plan: museum-street

Exterior view: connection between museums


Elevation: museum-street

Exterior view: museum-street, public square and access


Cross section: double atmosphere




Longitudinal sections: contemporary art room / sensory ramp / ancient art room

Interior views: contemporary art room / sensory ramp / ancient art room


Constructive section: double atmosphere


Constructive axonometry: prefabricated reinforced concrete beams and glass ceiling

Constructive axonometry: reinforced concrete structure,wooden structure, water tank roof and glass ceiling

Constructive axonometry: sensory ramp


Promenade / Valladolid, Spain

EXTENSION OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCULPTURE IN VALLADOLID. 1ST SEMESTER (M. ARCH) The project idea is based on a suture-element which completes the historical ensemble that forms the museumstreet. The new construction tries to coexist with the old buildings, becoming the final point of the architectural promenade and the extension of the National Museum of Sculpture in Valladolid. The main idea of the project is the importance of the museum promenade, and the translation of this idea to the external material dualism: concrete and glass. The lower section of the museum is a solid, dull and introvert element that generates the necessity of look for the light which guides us around the exhibition. The upper section, where the works of Holy Week art are displayed, is covered by the natural light, but it is also an introvert space, because the light comes into the museum but the treatment of the glass facade doesn’t allow us to see the exterior, giving all the importance to the exhibition. This material dualism matches the spaces of the museum. The ground floor, which is the public area, connects the building with the city. The broken shape generates three focal points: the public square, where the museum-street is finished, the private courtyard, that is a common space for both sculptured museums, and the multifunctional space around the church-museum.

Exterior view: private courtyard


Ground floor: entrance hall, projection room, Holy Week art studio, cafe, shop and offices

02 floor: Holy Week art exhibition

South-west elevation: private courtyard

Longitudinal sections: stairs (beginning of the exhibition) / exhibition, cafe and shop / stairs (end of the exhibition)

South-east elevation: access from the public square

Exterior view: public square




Constructive section: Holy Week art studio

Constructive section: Holy Week art exhibition

Constructive axonometry: concrete panels and glass facade


Urban pattern / Venice, Italy

EXTENSION OF THE ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL FROM THE UNIVERSITÀ IUAV DI VENEZIA. 9TH SEMESTER (B. ARCH) “I don’t speak about the space that is out of the shape, which encloses the volume, and in which live the shapes; but I speak about the space that is generated by the shapes, which lives in them and which is more active especially when it is more hidden”.

Venice, regarding the geographical location, has an extreme peculiarity that makes it into a singular city: it is made up of 118 islands and 455 bridges. The result is a complex network where the water and the land get equal values, generating a unique symbiosis and making possible a lot of points of view and interpretations. As a result of the urban pattern of Venice, we have a game of full and empty spaces that is going to penetrate the plot like a new dualism in front of the current coexistence of water and land, domestic scale and harbour scale, manufacturing and picturesque landscape..., which determinates, greatly, the configuration of the project. This game of full and empty spaces is the main concept, where the empty space exists as a result of the full space, that encloses it. This idea keeps the essence of Venice, the rough roads and the appearance of hidden spaces. To get the empty space, we have vertical and horizontal limits which give shape to the empty context. At the end, the empty space is not absence, it is the element of visual coherence, the space that makes sense and unit of the project.

Venice: water-land / full-empty / natural pattern / artificial pattern

Diagram: the empty space exists as a result of the full space


Ground floor: entrance hall, exhibition room, cafe, administration and classes

Exterior view: main access

First floor: classes, offices and auditorium

East elevation


Cross section: classes and offices

Longitudinal section: entrance hall, auditorium, exhibition room, cafe and offices

South elevation

North elevation

West elevation


Interior view: entrance hall

Constructive section: main access and auditorium


Fold / Gaziantep, Turquey

THE SCHOOL OF TOMORROW. Competition: ISOVER Multi-Comfort House 2014 / 1st Local Prize - 2nd National Prize The project is based on a cover element which folds and adapts itself to the slope, generating outdoor and indoor spaces and removing the minimum land, as the main sustainable strategy. The educational programme is organised by a system of bands which follows the slope from the north side to the south side of the plot and defines the cover’s folds. This element works as a self-supporting structure which touches the ground configuring the classrooms and the outdoor areas: school playgrounds, courts and ecological gardens. The most important part of the project is the ecological strategy, which uses systems of passive and active architecture at the same time to improve the energy efficiency of the project: solar thermal collector, earth source heat exchanger, double window, rain water tank, cross ventilation, vegetal barrier... The materials have been selected according to the idea of sustainable architecture. The eco-concrete, which changes the usual cement for a new additive obtained from the industrial residues, is used as the main structural material; and the sacrificed wood, which consists in accepting the durability of the wood over time, is the skin of the project.

System of bands

Vertical, lineal and cross communication

Structural mark

Courts and playgrounds

Ground floor - full /empty spaces

Interior view: court and playground


General diagram

Exterior view: access



Plot adaptation

Diagram: project idea

Exterior view: from the outdoor garden

Cross section


Natural interaction / Cantabria, Spain

HOTEL IN COMILLAS, CANTABRIA. 10TH SEMESTER (B. ARCH) The project idea is based on a building-shelf which completes the urban plot of the village creating a private space in front of the wooded slope. The confrontation between the construction and the nature generates a tension which extracts some modular boxes from the shelf and inserts them into the slope, creating two different situations: looking towards the forest or being enclosed by it. The reinforced concrete structure imposed by the parking in the basement supports the metal structure modulated by the boxes-rooms which make up the shelf. By the combination of two basic boxes, it gets two different variations of the room which grow in height or width, giving rise to rooms for two, four or six people. Each box-room is divided in two bands, one for the permanent furniture (toilet, shower, kitchen, bookcase), and the other one for the mobile furniture (living room, dining room, bedroom or entrance), which lets to change the space according to the situation. The common areas are distributed in the ground floor considering the focal points of the place, so the boxes-rooms are higher and have better views.

Plan: building-shelf and modular boxes

Diagram: looking towards the forest or be enclosed by it

Cross section


Panoramic view


2 people: box inserted into the slope

4 people: duplex (two boxes) in the shelf

6 people: two boxes in the shelf

2 people: interactive space

4 people: interactive space and shifting box

6 people: interactive space and shifting box

Modular boxes: variations (2, 4 or 6 people)


Dimension: 11x6 m Metal structure: beam HEA 200 column HEB 200 triangulated HEB 140

Structural growth

Modular growth: 2 people 4 people (height) 6 people (width)

Shifting box and plant riser

Mobile furniture: interactive space

Permanent furniture Diagram: box-room


Elevation: building-shelf


Reinventing the pre-existence / Valladolid, Spain

INTERVENTION IN THE HISTORIC HERITAGE FROM MOTA DEL MARQUÉS. 10TH SEMESTER (B. ARCH) The project idea is to restore the ancient area of Mota del MarquÊs through the connection between all their monuments. The architectural ensemble is connected following a straight line which guides us to the higher point of the village, the hillock dominated by the castle. The first stage of the restoration focuses on restarting the function of the church and the castle space, to value and preserve the place over time. Both monuments are connected by an ascending route and a buried connection which contains a part of the programme and follows the shape of the hillock by a curved line. The buildings are in state of ruin, so the reinstatement of the church has been partial, recovering mainly the space of the central nave like a welcome space. Whereas the castle needs a new structure which holds the walls while working as a viewpoint of the landscape.

Castle view


Plan and elevation: church / buried connection / castle

Longitudinal section


Cross section: church / buried connection / castle

Interior and exterior view of the church


The landscape over time / Valladolid, Spain

URBAN LANDSCAPE. PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. 10TH SEMESTER (B. ARCH) The project is located in the Spanish city of Valladolid, close to the river bank, which divides the town in two different parts. The goal is to integrate the river in the city in a sensitive way, creating a link between both sides. The project identifies the problems and proposes and integrates solutions. As an image of the historical growing, the whole plot is made by two main areas: The first one, places in the north, deals with the concept of an urban park. It works as a place where people can use the open space and enjoy the green-blue atmosphere. Several bands make the continuity from the urban environment to the natural landscape of the river, offering an overview of the shoreline. The south part of the plot is considered as a big scale garden. It is focused on the connection between the square and the current green area. The design of the space follows the guidelines of the urban structure to merge the city and the nature. The whole space becomes homogeneous by the presence of the trees, several platforms take place between them to allow different uses. The proposal takes the impact of the development and understands it in a new way for a future solution. The result is a landscape project which simply solves the problems of the present thinking in the past. The strategy integrates metropolis, nature and water, turning the city into a unit.

Diagram. Sequence over time: past / present / future


Plan: south part as a big scale garden / north part as a urban park

Diagram: space division / different typologies / traffic lanes / bridges and city centre connections / two different areas

Panoramic view: bands of the urban park (north part)


Artist’s impression Mumbai Central Station / Mumbai, India CONCEPT DESIGN, INTERIOR CGI. By John McAslan + Partners


Donskoy Gardens / Moscow, Russia MASTERPLAN, TIMBER 3D MODEL. By John McAslan + Partners




TOD’s, Tokio - Toyo Ito

Utrecht University Library, Utrecht - Wiel Arets

Prada, Tokio - Herzog & de Meuron

Dior, Tokio - Sanaa

Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria - Peter Zumthor

Dominius Winery, Napa Valley - Herzog & de Meuron

Tate Modern, London - Herzog & de Meuron

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao - Frank Gehry

Dior, Tokio - Kumiko Inui

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg - Herzog & de Meuron

Extract from the senior thesis.

“The architecture can be understood as a result of combining theory and technique. As the previous analysis has shown us, the ideas and the architectural thoughts are eternal, remaining present in works from different periods of time; while the technique, meaning the constructive systems and the technology, is the distinctive features of each time, being richer and more experienced. This reasoning, where there are an idea which persists and a tool that progresses, causes an architecture more diverse. This way, the contemporary world shows us a great catalogue of works where we cannot find a narrative link, an architectural style that defines them. In recent years there has been a tendency to concentrate all the architectural potential in the facade of the buildings. This surface, understood as an enclosure, it has always connected with the concept of limit. From the traditional and massive walls of stone until becoming a stratum of the enclosure in the International Style, the surface has changed its essence. Thanks to the technical progress, especially since the development of the curtain wall by the Modern Movement, the concept of the enclosure turned into the envelope, working as an independent element of the structure. In the contemporary world, the facade is understood as an epithelial layer which is able to define the totality of the building, having a new ornamental function. The concept of ornament, which has been a constant in the different styles that have configured the history of the architecture, it is the result of the change of necessities of the society in each time. As a consequence, the language experiences a constant evolution determined by the technique. At present, the skin of the building comes to prominence, it revives the ornamental dimension of the architecture. This new way, with a renovated language, it has become a fundamental element of the architectural expression. But, as has already happened before, the rebirth of the ornament is more synthesis than antithesis. After the analysis of the theories proposed in the mind of nineteenth century by Semper and Viollec-le-Duc about the origin of the architecture, and the consequences that they had in the architectural styles of the time, it is obvious that the same ideas can be told in very different ways according to the instruments that we have. The digital and technological revolution of the XXI century, has allowed us to free the envelope of their original and primitive responsibilities. The contemporary style follows the modern tendency to reveal the structure, but without to forget about the seduction that is provided

by an ornamental envelope. This concept of ornament has change of meaning, it has a sensory value, where the light and the own material have a fundamental role in the architectural work. This situation shows us that the theories, that are the ideas, are eternal, and it is the technique in each time which adapts itself to the ideas and makes us to progress. For example, through the TOD’s store analysis (Toyo Ito), we can realise that the ideas of a nature presents in the architecture, or an ornamental structure, they are not as innovative as they appear. It is the way that you talk about it, which makes it unique. The technical means that objectify the ideas, that are visible to our eyes, they have had a great development and they have allowed us to create new ways of expression. The current language understands the architectural surface as a exceptional means to express itself. The envelope is the limit between the inside and the urban landscape of the building, the connection link between them. So, in a society where the information and the constant change control the system, this white canvas is the ideal way of communication to transmit a message. The communicative purpose of a building, a constant in the history of the architecture, has an opportunity using the technological progress and the new materials. But it is not only the creation of new materials that helps us to transmit an idea in a different way, the technological progress allows us to obtain innovative results using traditional materials. In the same way that Berlage trusted the texture which is created by the bricks to adorn the exterior surface of his buildings, another architects such as Alvar Aalto in the Experimental House in Muratsalo, Peter Zumthor in the Kolumba Museum, or the innovative architects Gramazio & Kohler in the Gantenbein Winery, they realised how important the expressive capacity of the material is to achieve the architectural emotion by the ornamental way. Something similar happens with the stone, a material that is greatly modified since it is extracted of the quarry until it arrives to the construction, getting different volumes that define the envelope as a mass with carrying capacity, an slim layer or even being a permeable skin that filters the light, as is the case in the Dominus Winery by Herzog & de Meuron. Also the wood, the concrete, the metals and the glass have been materials frequently used in architecture, but it is in the contemporary period when we trust, even more, in their expressive capacities. Modifying the arrangement of the material, his volume, geometry, texture, colour, size, the junctions or the relation with other elements, it transmits very different feelings. It is the ornamental game that allows us to talk about beauty and emotion in the architecture, losing the connotation of unnecessary

element. But this material isn’t it, if the matter that makes it doesn’t follow an idea. When we materialise an idea, or we idealise the matter, we create architecture. The architecture becomes space when dealing with nature, and it is the light, the material most important presents in the cosmos, which generates the emotion in the humans. The main difference between the contemporary architecture and the previous styles is the technique that allows us to take advantage of the expressive capacities of the material and the other mechanical features. We live in the digital era, where the information technology is getting increasingly more advanced and it creates more possibilities in the architectural world. Most skins that surround the contemporary buildings are regulated by mathematical algorithms which are created by computer programming and are able to design a surface in a random but known order that requires a thorough structural study, always making the most of the material advantages. Is the case of the ornamental structures designed by Toyo Ito in the Serpentine Gallery (2002) or the Sumika Pavillion, where the superficial chaos answers to mathematical algorithms that allows the material to work in optimum conditions. Also, in the examples about mimesis, such as the TOD’s store, the Beijing National Stadium, the Water Cub or the Airspace in Tokyo, there is an important display of technology to transform the structural or climatic systems, present in the nature, into a formal and specific language. The same that happens with the wood, the rest of materials have changed the system based on the geometry for a new tool known as Computing Design, which only has in mind the first information that we transmit it. We have gone from model objects to model process, from design shapes to design performances, and from digital and static constructions to a system that is able to feed back the information and makes decisions by itself. The architecture that is growing at the present time and becoming a new style it is the result of combining the design, the technology and the installation in a simultaneous process that turns the skin into the hallmark of the building. The connection between the building and the urban landscape is the main task of the XXI century, because the architecture trusts on its social role and in the regeneration of the city. That is the reason why the limit between city and building, the skin, is the focus of the architectural work and it is where converge the potential of the project. The expressive way to turn the building into a hallmark of the city is the ornament, but understanding it as a new concept to make the most of the expressive capacity of the materials through the digital technology of this new era.”


THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME Sara Lรณpez Varona +44 (0)7709038184 / +34 628263359 saralopezvarona@gmail.com

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