Sports facilities


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Sports bulding in Ciudadela Park

Enric Batlle, Joan Roig, arquitectos

Description Technical file

A faceted volume, with formal textures and characteristics that can be assimilated into the suite of existing public buildings, completes the architectural façade of the Parque de la Ciudadela towards Paseo Picasso and houses the programme for a sports facility.

The district of Ciutat Vella, one of the most highly populated in Barcelona, is permanently searching for free spaces to meet its needs for public facilities. Its highly compact build type, as well as the historical remains in its subsoil, means that the possibility of finding plots that are suitable for facilities sometimes requires the deployment of urban development engineering that is unthinkable in other sectors of the city. One of the facilities in which the district was lacking was a sports centre that could accommodate a regulation indoor basketball court, an outdoor sports pitch, an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor pool, a gym that could be divided into several halls as well as changing rooms and corresponding services.

The plot chosen for building the facility is aligned with the suite of buildings constituting the façade of the Parque de la Ciudadela towards Paseo Picasso: the old restaurant of the 1888 Universal Exhibition, the current Zoology Museum, the work of Lluís Domènech i Montaner; the Hivernacle, by Josep Amargós i Samaranch; the museum of Geology and Natural Sciences, by Antoni Rovira i Trias, and lastly, the Umbracle, by Josep Fontseré i Mestres.

The project seeks to assimilate the scale of the sports centre into that of the other buildings in the Park, trying to rearrange the programme in order to occupy as little floor space as possible while preventing its height from rising above that of the other buildings. To this end, the main uses such as the sports pitch, pool and changing rooms are situated on a level at around 3.5 metres below that of the park. On the ground floor, at street level, is the vestibule and entrance control for the floors restricted to users while facilitating the connection between Paseo Picasso and the Parque de la Ciudadela through the building itself. The first floor is occupied by the polyvalent gym and fitness halls, while the second floor accommodates the rest of the programme (medical centre, installations, etc) as well as incorporating an outdoor swimming pool with its corresponding services. This high-rise organisation takes advantage of the difference in height between the sports centre and the pool to create a graded building and therefore reduce the general height to around 14 metres, which is considerably lower than that of the buildings in its surroundings and even lower than that of the enveloping tree groves.

While the preliminary project was being drafted, a series of excavations and computer graphics revealed remains of the ramparts of the old Ciudadela (Citadel) erected by Felipe V in 1714. Their architectural quality and archaeological value conditioned the project, forcing it to adapt to the shape of the walls to make it possible to visit them, at least in the swimming pool area. Their outline delimits and separates the leisure wet area from the pool area, protecting the ruin with a small moat.

On the outside the building, as with the others on Paseo Picasso, operates as a closure to the Park while establishing the conditions for the future fence of the Paseo de Circunvalación. That is why the ground floor has been enclosed in glass in order to gain a maximum of transparency between the street and the park. The rest of the floors alternate glass enclosures with solid ones, depending on the interior use. Finally, the building is covered in wooden slats to protect it from the sunlight and to allow it to become absorbed into the tree groves, finding its own space near the umbraculum.

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Situación: Parque de la Ciudadela, Barcelona. Autores: Enric Batlle, Joan Roig, arquitectos. Colaboradores: Francesc Puig, arquitecto, Oriol Marin, arquitecto técnico, Gerardo Rodríguez, ingeniero, STATIC, estructura, INGSEMAT, instalaciones. Constructor: COPISA. Promotor: Foment de Ciutat Vella. Fotografías: Jordi Surroca.
Enric Batlle
Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona
Joan Roig
Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona
Jordi Surroca