Text description provided by the architects. The building results from a national ideas competition arranged in 2005 by Boecillo City Council (Valladolid). The plot is located between neighbor’s walls, facing two streets in a complex environment with detached housing and industrial buildings with different heights and cover inclinations, which form a messy and chaotic landscape. Because of the volumetric mess, an abstract and therefore neutral piece is proposed as an environmental adaptation mechanism, giving a specific quality that combines elements with different architectural character.
Building integration into urban grid is pretended by enhancing internal spatiality, because of plot conditions and its inability to generate surrounding views. A meeting and relationship place with cultural exchange in the broadest sense is created.
From town’s main square we arrive at the building through an outdoor covered foyer, a large open lobby or exterior hall as an urban refuge. From public to private, a sequence of outdoor-indoor, open-closed, covered-uncovered, full-empty, public-private spaces is intended. From an outdoor covered patio, open, empty, public -volume horizontal drilling-, to an outdoor uncovered patio, open, empty, private -volume vertical drilling-. An urban tour is pretended, which continues inside the building with a large lobby or indoor street, accentuating public building character and favoring transition between both streets.
Conceptually it is a compact volume, cut and drilled vertically and horizontally. A thick volume which enhances its directionality, it is drilled to emphasize its thickness, and it is trimmed to qualify its abstract character.
The project aims to achieve the maximum exploitation of the buildable area, using required extensive program -auditorium, library, children’s library, dance and games room, administration, exhibition hall, classrooms and archive- to create a social and cultural complex which brings together a large public sector.
Enclosure treatment helps energy saving, trying to make the best use of outdoor climate for the benefit of interior comfort. Because of in depth developing of the building, it reduces heat loss by introducing natural lighting through courtyards acting as raised gardens, which allow outdoor living from the inside.
The entrance courtyard located on the main facade is an outdoor shade structure through which the prevailing east-west winds transport fresh air to the adjoining courtyard, cooling the atmosphere by generating a stream of air. In turn, west courtyard facade has a second skin separated from the glass facade, avoiding direct solar incidence and allowing air exchange.
Use of large ceramic blocks in external enclosures provides a further thermal accumulation, and the outer cladding of wood-cement panels generates a ventilated air chamber through a great strength and high durability material, which itself satisfies the strictest environmental standards.