URSA SECO, URSA TERRA
New Canfranc station converted into a luxury hotel
Canfranc Station (Huesca) is a building steeped in history that is changing its use to become a luxury hotel. The thorough renovation it has undergone has not altered its original appearance one iota.
Inaugurated by Alfonso XIII and the President of the French Republic, Gaston Doumergue, in 1928, the Midi Francés and Norte de España companies sought to build a railway link between Spain and France, taking advantage of the line that connected Huesca with Jaca. With the excavation of the Somport tunnel, completed in 1914, the line finally reached Canfranc.
The building, designed by the engineer Fernando Ramírez de Dampierre, experienced its most extraordinary splendor in the 1940s, coinciding with the Second World War. The German side and the French Resistance used the station as a strategic crossing point and managed to hide and facilitate the escape of thousands of Jews from all over Europe. International rail traffic was suspended in April 1970 after the breakage of the L'Estanguet bridge on the French side.
For Ingennus, the architectural firm responsible for this refurbishment, one of the central premises was that the works should not alter the original aesthetics and design of this building of just over 3,000 m2. Mónica Tello, the technical architect, Sustainability Coordinator at Ingennus and responsible for the Execution Management of these refurbishment works, explains that they had no difficulty in maintaining the original appearance of the façade because "they undertook the envelope from the inside, acting on the airtightness and insulation from inside the building. Only changing the 365 windows for others with higher performance meant that the current format had to be replicated".
In work carried out by Tello, recognized with an award at the Gala de la Edificación Aragonesa in 2021, the choice of a sound insulation system is fundamental. "The insulation in the building acts as a protective coat that surrounds it on the inside, roof, façade, and floor. Therefore, we calculated the necessary thickness so that the building would have no energy losses and the necessary input of installations would be much less than what would be needed with less insulation," she says.
For the insulation, the project managers installed 26,000 m2 of URSA TERRA T18P, an insulating panel with high performance to provide thermal and acoustic comfort. In addition, 9,600 m2 of URSA TERRA Plus 32 T0003 were installed, covered with 9,600 m2 of URSA SECO membrane. This system, consisting of insulating wool with high thermal conductivity and a polypropylene membrane, guarantees the air and water tightness of the building. The URSA TERRA Mur Plus system of 5, 10, and 14 centimeters thick, depending on the insulation needs of each of the areas, complete the installation.
Watertightness was very important, as the project was designed according to Passivhaus criteria in which, according to the project's sustainability manager, "ventilation with heat recovery, airtightness, insulation, triple-glazed joinery, and thermal bridges have all been taken into account. All this implies good air quality and thermal and acoustic comfort without unwanted draughts. Furthermore, the correct waste management and the use of materials that are not harmful to health have also been taken into account".
The project includes commissioning a new passenger station to be inaugurated in 2021, following the Government of Aragon's commitment to recovering the Arañones esplanade where the Canfranc international station is located. Those responsible for the project hope that work at the new hotel will finish in the coming months.
Location: 22880 Canfranc-Estación, Huesca
The insulation in the building acts as a protective coat that surrounds it on the inside, roof, façade and floor