Rowing Center / José María Sánchez García

© Roland Halbe

Architects: José María Sánchez García
Location: Alange, Badajoz,
Project Team: Daniel González Guerrero, Julia Ternström, Enrique García-Margallo Solo de Zaldivar, Francisco Sánchez García, Marion Foucault, Cruz Calleja Perucho, Rafael Fernández Caparros, Maribel Torres Gómez, Laura Rojo Valdivielso, Marilo Sánchez García, Marta Cabezón López, Mafalda Ambrósio, Carmen Leticia Huerta.
Structural Engineer: María Concepción Pérez Gutiérrez
Services Engineer: ARO consultores
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 1,959.81 sqm
Photographs: Roland Halbe

The Rowing and Canoeing Centre is located near the Alange reservoir and tries to be as neutral as possible with the environment. It is configured by a large pedestal and a light deck, creating between them a platform that dialogues with the landscape, looking over the water, the shore, the boats. It’s like a big veranda, a balcony, which focuses on the movements toward the reservoir, with paths that are created to “look” and to “stay”.


Over the platform, light metal trusses that spans over a large room of 21mx21m are constructed, holding the ramp that hangs from them. These trusses are covered to create a shady area.

© Roland Halbe

The lower level emerges as raised platform, like a rock in which deep holes are drilled to introduce air and light, and that holds the more private needs of the program. The geometry of the building comes from the shape of the site and consists of a central hall that acts as a large classroom / workshop, and around this area, located in the perimeter bands, are the public toilets and changing rooms for athletes, the residence area and the offices.

© Roland Halbe

The relationship between the platform and the base is solved with a large-sized hole, a crack in the platform that acts as a crevice that allows the passage of light into the lower floor, and holds a slender two-section ramp that hangs with wires from the trusses, and that connects the lower floor with the platform, acquiring therefore a very important role in the project.

© Roland Halbe

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Rowing Center / José María Sánchez García" 31 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Ornament and Crime

    Spare. Minimal. Absolutely beautiful.

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  • pkeet

    nice project! my only wonder is, how can they use the ramps with boats 4 m long? or is that just after the photographers wish?