Architects: Cor & Partners
Location: Algueña, Valencia, Spain
Architects: Cor & Partners / Miguel Rodenas + Jesús Olivares
Client: Algueña Town Council
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: David Frutos
From the architect. Algueña is a small village in the interior of Alicante County, with a population of two thousand and an economy based in agriculture and marble industries. We were asked for a building able to bring together all the activities related to music and culture that took place in the village, and also promoting its cultural future. We were commissioned to search for an opportunity, articulate it and carry it out.
Under these circumstances, that also comprised the definition of an extensive musical schedule of activities and a maximum budget of 562.800 €, we proposed in a first phase the rehabilitation of old Guardia Civil’s quarter that was in disuse since the 80s. That allowed us to have a surface area of 670 sqm that we only had to adequate, and the construction on a new Auditorium of 350m2 and 230 seats. In a second phase, we proposed the construction of a park with an open-air auditorium that will join the village and its zone of future urban development.
The definition of the architectural program is the opportunity in this project. Sometimes, as in this case, the decisions of the architects have to do more with the “building of an opportunity” and the creation of a dense and appropriate schedule of activities for the village, than strictly with the discipline, the aesthetics, the materiality, the form...
The responsibility in the approach and the impossibility of failing are important parameters in this kind of villages, where the opportunities come rarely, and there’s no possibility of increasing the budget. That’s why it is very important to construct a complex reality linked closely with the village, and auditing the process with all the agents and citizens involved.
The intervention is located in the west entrance to the village, near from classical local wineries, in a city limit that the new urbanistic plan will develop around this plot. We propose to reserve a green zone beside the building, to develop in second phase an open-air auditorium and a garden with jacarandas, that will have enough entity to separate the new urbanistic development of the existing one, and generating a joining place and giving it ambiental quality.
Besides, in the plot exits a building of the 60s, an old Guardia Civil quarters, that is in disuse from years and that has a load-bearing wall structure in good state of maintenance. And its shaped in U with an interesting central courtyard for this architectural program. We propose to rehabilitate it for developing that program.
The new construction is separated from the old by new adapted stairs that are enclosed in glass boxes lighted from overhead, that try to add fragility to the rotundness of the whole. The multipurpose hall houses 230 seats, these seats are moveable and the installations are able to accommodate different kind of functions, from a concert to a new year’s eve party, that’s why it also houses a warehouse where organize all these elements that allow use change.
The central courtyard is designed to house the rehearsals of the music band in open-air, or any other kind of functions as award giving parties, etc. without any fixed element. Moreover, it’s designed together with the back courtyard, in which we propose to develop another open-air hall. The intervention has a great potential to be used and we propose more for less.
In the existing building we propose the rehabilitation without formal changes. Simply recovering all the old constructive techniques and turning them white with different grades of shine with the intention of generating tension between what the users remember about the building and what it is now, we search for surprise perceptions and the generation of a new surface. Instead the new hall is a blind box, a strange element because of its shape and dimensions. To emphasize this sensation we propose a cladding that vibrates and shines with a pearly-iridescent material.
Text provided by Cor & Partners