Hoz Fontán Arquitectos is an architecture and urban design studio dedicated to the realization of quality spaces adapted to the new ways of living and working, integrated in its context and environmentally responsible.
Gathering professionals from different fields, HFA provides every project with a tailor made team that is closely led by its two partners:
Angel de la Hoz (COAVN) Architect from the University of Navarra School of Architecture and principal of Hoz Fontán Arquitectos, he boasts more than thirty-five years of experience in the architectural profession, during which he has built more than forty buildings and carried out numerous masterplanning and urban design projects.
Pablo de la Hoz (COAVN) Architect by the Technical School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM) and principal of Hoz Fontán Arquitectos, he has practiced in the internationally-renowned architecture studios of Dominique Perrault Architecture in Paris and Abalos+Sentkiewicz in Madrid.
Singular projects are those requiring highly specific developments. The key usually lies in working in close contact with the client and creating a team of experts from the different fields required by the project. This is the case of the Aquarium of San Sebastian, which presented the challenge of renovation within a historic building, or the Faculty of Business Administration of Oñati [dezeen archdaily], in which there are different teaching areas around communal spaces. In some cases, the singularity comes not only from the special characteristics of its brief, but by mixing elements, as in the case of the Txingudi water treatment plant, an infrastructural intervention which required landscape sensitivity. The Atelier Nagel belongs to a family of smaller-scale but equally singular projects, because of its location next to a nineteenth-century villa, the special features of its brief and the content of its budget.
This journey among singular situations has been a constant in the work of HFA and has allowed the studio to gain valuable experience in a diverse range of design solutions, as well as a work ethic that attaches great importance to technical control as a means to achieving intense architectural expression.
Sports facility architecture
Sports facility architecture is one of the areas in which HFA has the most experience. The first sports centre built was Alurralde sports centre in Andoain, which was followed by the Hondartza sports centre in Hondarribia and Usabal sports centre in Tolosa. All three have been very well received by the public. Experience in built spaces includes swimming pools, recreational pools, whirlpools, outdoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, fitness rooms, gyms, tatami rooms, artificial football pitches and spectator stands, courts in sports centres, paddle tennis courts, archery facilities, climbing and bouldering walls, squash and pelota courts, amongst others. HFA also applies its experience gained in large-scale projects to smaller-scale projects, as well as advice and consulting services.
HFA has built numerous houses, mainly located along the Cantabrian coast. Designing a house is an enriching exercise performed from a logic of complicity between client and architect. Housing designs are characterised by a careful adaptation to the surroundings and the needs of each client. Controlling the degree of privacy and openness to the landscape, the choice of materials, the views and the light are essential when building a home. These very concepts have also been developed by HFA in collective housing projects, examples of which include the residential blocks on both sides of Avenida Iparralde in Irún.
The way we work is constantly changing, and our spaces have to adapt to these changes. HFA designs innovative buildings that deliver a highly-flexible layout through experience gained in creating corporate headquarters and research centres such as the Garaia Innovation Centre or the Zaisa tower [dezeen archdaily inhabitat]. In addition to addressing issues such as optimising maintenance and guaranteed durability of the building, work spaces must seek to provide pleasant surroundings with good natural light and social spaces. A quality office building must have excellent energy performance and for that HFA has tested out high-efficiency façade systems in this field.
Heritage + modernity
Many projects developed by HFA have involved renovating examples of architectural heritage. The San Sebastian Palace of Justice preserves the façades of the former military hospital in the city, and the architectural intervention considered elements that smoothly harmonise the old with the new. The Aquarium of San Sebastian is a similar case, which also has a component of urban architectural heritage as it defines the end of the new promenade, one of the most significant urban elements of the city. The harmony between heritage and modernity does not need to arise from historical heritage. HFA currently performs renovation projects of industrial and sports buildings, in which it seeks an integrated approach between the old and the new in order to change or expand the uses of these buildings.
Industrial architecture and infrastructure
The value that architecture gives to industrial construction and infrastructures is resource rationalisation, urban optimisation, and landscape and aesthetic sensibility. The integration of industrial and infrastructural spaces into their surroundings and its landscape is a recurring theme in the work of HFA. In cases like the Txingudi water treatment plant, the infrastructure was to be inserted in a place that required landscape sensitivity, so a plant layout was conceived in relation to the topography and location. The warehouses of Txiplau in Hondarribia or SIFRA in Irun called for formally-contained but intense aesthetic interventions, either in relation to the proximity to the urban area or because of their visibility.
Urban planning and design
Urban planning is a constant in the studio´s work. HFA conducts masterplans, detailed studies and all urban planning formalities, on all levels. Featured projects include the masterplanning of the cities of Oñati, Zarautz and Getaria, as well as the Osinalde Ondarreta area and the Ibaeta Campus of the University of the Basque Country in San Sebastian, the design of urban developments in Irún, the Zaisa transport terminal, the Usabal in Tolosa and the Andoain services area. All of them in collaboration with various experts and other architectural studios. The studio has had a long history of working as urban planners in the Bay of Pasaia area.