Status: Academic Competition (2014)
Types: Cultural, Cultural center, Mixed use
The proposed Community Centre is configured as a sum of small buildings related to the scale of the constructions of the site. The mixture of urban and industrial fabric give us the guidelines how to organize de program, catch the light, relate to the park and to the urban square.
The aim of the proposal is to be part of the neighborhood putting in contrast the strong geometry of industrial fabric and the innovative, fast construction and at the same time confortable construction.
We propose a very open ground floor plan, which invites people to come, to cross, to visit the park, but also to stay and enjoy the big hall, which connects with all the activities of the building at the same time that it is being activated.
The front and back façade are treated the same way, but very subtitle openings are placed along the different building, emphasizing different views from inside, always on the corners facing the par, the square, the sky… The façade and roof is made of a unique material, the same as the St George Church, zinc which might change during the time and with a very low maintenance.
We propose a big plaza in front of the building, making it accessible to everybody. A continuous pavement would make it more visible and confortable, being able to be used in spring and summer time for outdoor activities such as flea market, outdoor cinema, and exhibitions, activities that the Community Centre might be able to organize in order to grow a strong feeling of community.
The project aims to go beyond solving the functionality and accessibility. We are looking for a sensory architecture that awakens the feelings in people. It offers a neutral space where many activities could take place.
The building, which is proposed as sum of small ones apparently, divided every 7m to follow the urban rhythm of the old city. The inclination of the roof allows us to have a big skylight as well as a continuous and complex façade thanks to the changing volumetry, which makes every space special, and unique.
We propose the more open and public spaces on the ground floor accessible to everybody. The architecture of the urban space is seeking for accessible paths as well as some elements that gives privacy and calm to the interior to allow the ‘slow’ transition to the park.
First floor and mezzanine are mixed, looking for new spatiality sensation. In our proposal the structure and the finishes are the same, giving the opportunity to work with less material and being able to have lower cost of building and maintenance.
Environmental sustainability and energy
The proposed energy for the building, is to get a building almost self sufficient with energy balance close to zero. The desired goal is a rational use of energy. Energy production in line with demand will make the building energy self- sufficiency approaches.
Traditional buildings consume 40% of the total energy of fossil fuels in the U.S. and the EU and contribute significant greenhouse gas. The proposed design emphasizes the use of passive systems to optimize maximum power consumption: façade, high quality insulation, climatically, natural cross ventilation, etc. ..
The constructive solution proposed concerns about environmental sustainability as well as the site inputs: area of mixture of building size with a common characteristic, the inclination of the roof and the under space use.
We propose a dry construction for the entire project due to the speed of construction, low weight and the ability to change over time.
We propose all inner space made of wood, main structure could be mixed of steel and laminated wood which would also be the finishing of the rooms. This construction system reduces the energy consumption for the building project, and therefore promotes environmental sustainability. The façade is made of zinc panels that can be also prefabricated.
Other items that we consider in the context of environmental sustainability are:
– dry construction: use of wood for the main structure, secondary and finishes.
– control of water: mechanisms to control the use and storage.
– optimization of interior installations.
– reducing energy consumption: light sensors to reduce energy consumption.
– façade elements: high quality insulation with a light façade of zinc which relates to the roofs of the old building of the area and allows the aging of the material with low cost maintenance.
– big openings: encourage natural ventilation and help to focus the view into the sky.
– energy: under floor heating
– garden: orchard area and native trees.