Massing and context

Starting points are the irregular boundary of dividing walls in the plot, the church of San Francisco in the south, and height constraints established by planning.

Our proposal is a ‘compact’ solution, subtly dealing with those constraints by the following actions:

– Creation of a diagonal sequence of clear spaces, successively growing in scale (courtyard in Casa Martel – new main courtyard- auditorium foyer- Doctor Victor Pérez square).
– Setting back of the facade from the church alignment, creating a new pedestrian street, in order to respect the integrity of the church and put it in value, and improve the accessibility of the building by redirecting the pedestrian transit towards the square through the interior of the plot.
– Elevation of the auditorium, making it floating-like over a clear basement, which hosts the exhibition areas and connects with the main courtyard.


Opening of a new pedestrian street through the plot grants direct access to exhibition areas and the café. Access to the auditorium connects it straight to the square through a foyer enclosed by a transparent/translucent facade.

Access to the MACEW museum and the staff access are both located in Calle Agustin de Betancourt, where the facade of the former prison is preserved. Loading area to the stage also happens in that street.


The design of the auditorium allows perform events of different nature or audience, providing flexibility in the relationship between audience and scene, and in terms of daylight, by the following strategies:

– The stalls consist on a flat surface where retractable seats can be extended or stored in a wall leaving a clear space.
– The stand can be split in two parts with a movable partition in case of reduced audience, being one theatre and the other one a cinema.
– The stalls area is lit by two big sized hollows open to the pixelated facade.

Exhibition areas

Consist on a series of linked spaces. Main of them is the exhibition area in the basement, which is completely clear, flexible and open to the pedestrian street through a system of ramps and steps, and allowing crossed ventilation. This connects with the MACEW museum through the two courtyards, which will also display exhibitions.


The building hosts a variety of functions under a unitary and charismatic aesthetic, through a subtle and luminous skin, that produces a variety of reflections and shades contributing to the interior space quality.

The contrast of the light white box with the dark volcanic ground, characteristic of the island, connects with the same contrast between black and white that can be seen throughout the island. Then white facade consists on a combination of ceramics and glass 50x50cm pieces varying in transparency, tone and reflection of light. The vibrant effect of the pieces provides an ethereal effect, in contrast with the dark shaded area underneath.


architects: Ruben Ramos, Pablo Carballal  |  status: Competition (2013)  |  competition: Espacio parque San Francisco  |  visualizer: Studio  |  scale: medium  |  types: cultural, cultural center  |  views: 1.893

same competition (+3)

Francés + Sastre | Jorge Ruiz Boluda, Paul Dieterlen Escoto, Juan Carlos Hernández González | Ruben Ramos, Pablo Carballal | Tapia + Figueiras Arquitectos