Architects: Javier Romero Soto Arquitecto
Location: El Somo, Cantabria, Spain
Author: Javier Romero Soto
Co-author: Jacobo Gomis Herrera
Contractor: Arruti Santander S.A.
Photographs: Javier Azurmendi
The Ribamontán al Mar Surf Center is located in the seafront of Somo, a small town in near Santander. It’s essential for this new facility to be located as close as possible to the beach (it would be unthinkable that surfers have to move to change, shower or store the surfboards to some urban area of the town); therefore, in the absence of municipal property plot with the required characteristics, we chose to place the building on the seafront. The venue lacks environmental value; one of the goals of the project is in fact to recover this underused space, situated just 20 meters away from the sealine.
The Surf Center takes advantage of the good orientation, the wind protection and the mixed features (urban/beach) of the chosen space ir order to satisfy the requeriments raised by the customer: tourist information area, a classroom with adjacent services (such as offices, toilets, or storage) where training courses or exhibitions will develop, a changing area specifically designed for surfers with a surf board warehouse, and an office in charge of the management and control of the activity of the sports area.
The building is divided into two distinct areas: first the lobby, tourist information and training, and second the area for sports use only. Both areas are connected through a new street-courtyard which links the park with the beach. This is public space and it constitutes the core the building. The surf center patrons and other surfers and swimmers can freely use the public showers installed in this street-courtyard.
The aim is that this new space acts as a backdrop to the public part of the building. Thus the dynamism of the surfers and swimmers transit and the activity that occurs on this street creates the lively atmosphere of the Surf Center.
Thanks to south downward slope (3m) present in the plot, the impact of the building in the north-beach is negligible because above this point only appears the volume of the public cafeteria that opens to the seafront. This cafeteria is a funding device that guarantees the survival of the center.