Architecture for culture

Badalona, Barcelona

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José Antonio Martínez Lapeña y Elías Torres Tur, arquitectos

Description Technical file

This building, intended for a Culture Centre and situated in an urban environment lacking in architectural references, participates in a compositional exercise in which the liberation of the party walls, together with its volumetric shifts, give it a central role as a public building that suits its urban landscape.

The Culture Centre replaces the old El Carme clinic situated on the corner of calle Sant Francesc d’Assis and calle Francesc Layret. Calle Sant Francesc d’Assis, after crossing calle Francesc Layret, changes and expands its section from 5 to 10 metres. In order to achieve a better geometric and visual accord between these two widths, the ground floor of the new building diminishes and widens to build a chambered corner with calle Francesc Layret, where the centre’s main entrance door is situated.

The greater height of the new building for the Culture Centre, in relation to the height of the old clinic resulting from the needs of the new activity, together with the differing geometry of each floor, ultimately leads to a superposition of different volumes that characterise the external aspect of the building. The terraces that appear on the different floors are the result of the different shifts that occur between the different volumes that form the whole.

The volumes of the three top floors are liberated, breaking away from the adjacent buildings and leaping towards the corner through a series of cantilevers that jut out on calle Francesc Layret, thus avoiding the presence of new party walls jutting out above the neighbouring buildings and becoming visible from the public space. On the third floor the volume backs up into one of its party walls to obtain a sea-facing terrace that serves as a small interior bar.

The northeast façade, which connects the building with the interior courtyard of the street block, withdraws from the limits of the property to allow a series of courtyards to appear that allow natural light into the interior of the basement floor, which is intended for exhibitions.

With the exception of the volume holding the vertical communications, which is opaque and illuminated through a light well, the rest of the building is formed from a slender curtain wall, veiled by a series of aluminium shutters 24 cm wide, except in its north-eastern façade. These large shutter slats are fixed but modify their inclination according to one objective: to always enable the gaze to be directed towards the exterior space in accordance with the height of the view.

At night the building can appear as a great urban lamp formed from strange and unruly horizontal strips of Mediterranean or oriental light.



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Localización: Badalona. Cliente / promotor: Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona. Contratista: Vías y Construcciones. Autores: José Antonio Martínez Lapeña y Elías Torres Tur, arquitectos. Arquitecto responsable: Luís Valiente Bermejo. Colaboradores: Estructuras: Gerardo Rodríguez, Ing. (STATIC), Instalaciones: Consulting Oficina Tècnica Lluís J. Duart. Colaboradores estudio: Pau Badia i Roca, Alex Borràs Torralba, Borja José Gutiérrez Febles, Jordi Hernández de Gispert, Francesc Martínez Cazorla, Luis Valiente Bermejo, Marc Marí Mayans, Jose San Martín Eraso, Jennifer Vera. Fotografía: Lourdes Jansana.
Contact
José Antonio Martínez Lapeña
Barcelona
Elías Torres Tur
Barcelona
Photography
Lourdes Jansana
Barcelona