Client: Ayuntamiento de Valencia
Status: Competition (2022)
Clasification: 1 prize
Location: Valencia, Spain
Coordinates: 39.477221, -0.380298
Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean
Materials: Wood, Ceramic, Plaster
Environment: Old town
Budget: 2.200.000 €
Scale: 980 ㎡ Small
Ratio: 2.244,90 €/㎡
Types: Civic center, Institutional
Espai Dones i Igualtat (Space for Women and Equality) is a resource of the City Council of Valencia created almost 20 years ago with the aim of promoting equality public policies, offering information, attention and advice to the women of Valencia as well as resources and training to professionals on the principles of equality, mainstreaming, gender perspective and attention to situations of gender violence.
With the aim of accommodating more people and improving its visibility, a competition was launched for the construction of a new centre located on a plot of land in the heart of El Carmen neighbourhood. This plot has the particularity of containing a medieval cellar and a courtyard with a polychrome ceramic fountain belonging to an old 14th century moorish house, one of the few testimonies of the post-Jaume I conquest muslim València.
Our proposal seeks to create an open and accessible building integrated into the urban, social and environmental context of Ciutat Vella. An active building, whose spaces can be redefined and understood from a perspective of equality and gender, where collective spaces with non-preconditioned uses replace old models of corridors and spatial hierarchies.
In its urban setting, the building adapts to the alignments and exigencies of the Special Protection Plan for Ciutat Vella and locates its access in the public square that it faces, guessing its green and pedestrian future. In its spatial distribution, the ground floor is divided into three areas: archaeological remains, hall and auditorium. All of them, interconnected internally, have an access that allows their independent use.
The hall is a higher space, which gives access to the auditorium and contains the reception and a seating area, with a section defined by the presence of the mudejar courtyard, with zenithal lighting. Opposite the entrance, as a perspective background, is the communications and services core that connects the entire building, whose first landing of the staircase becomes a viewpoint over the archaeological remains.
The upper floors are organised in two connected spaces: the ‘accompanying spaces’ – a flexible space open to the courtyard for collective uses that acts as a distributor – and the individual attention spaces as well as the classrooms, which have cross ventilation between the street and the courtyard. The route culminates in a terrace roof that can be used for open-air public events.
A series of passive measures inherited from local tradition and the incorporation of renewable energies complete the bioclimatic design of the building. In addition, the construction solutions use recognisable materials related to the domestic environment, present in the collective memory, which generate a greater sense of comfort and an easy habituation to the different spaces.