LocationManresa, Barcelona, Spain
Architect in ChargeGabriel Gomera, Ruben Paez
Text description provided by the architects. The R3 centre is a unique place for recovery, maintenance and improvement of physical fitness intended for athletes.
With an area of 230 m2 the R3 centre hosts a reception and entrance area, a central service core (changing rooms, bathrooms and storage) and a variety of different activity and training rooms. The R3 centre, located on the ground floor of a residential building is arranged within a grid of concrete pillars, which defines an internal order of the interior space.
Through an economy of means the proposal sought simple, specific and versatile solutions that addressed basic requirements, like dressing rooms, service areas, lighting and storage. Whilst at the same time incorporating and taking full advantage of interacting with the existing elements like the naked pillar structure, the outdoor trees and the open spaces to heaven. Air, light and colour, used in abundance were an essential element and consideration to the final design.
Exterior Feeling _ we associate the activity of outdoor sports with sun, light and air. As we engage in the natural setting we feel free and expansive, but this disappears when returning inside into an internal space. The project aims to recapture that feeling of the outside. Large glass windows and mirrors acting as filters, playing with shadow and reflections, freeing up space, is an attempt to minimize the sense of enclosure. The increase circulation of light and the visual impact of the space, invites the user to move freely throughout the R3 centre. The indoor centre is an open, flexible and transparent space without sacrificing the warmth and comfort of the interior.
The natural light_ is an ever changing element from sunrise to sunset. The large glass windows invites the natural light to vibrate with colours and materials used inside the R3 centre. The materiality of light grows and varies throughout the day and becomes tangible, tracing invisible and suggestive lines, emphasizing shapes and shadows, articulating the variations of each of the inner rooms, thus giving them character.
The artificial light_ compliments the natural and appears as an open circular "saucers", which house a system of indirect artificial lighting, while allowing other facilities to hide in the ceiling. The distribution of these "saucers" is fluid and organic, blurring the boundaries of the ceiling perimeter. Indirect artificial light allows the lengthening of daylight hours and makes the transition from day to night slow and gradual.
Colour and material_ becomes an essential element within the space providing a sensory experience for physical activity. The colours and textures of the materials used change the feeling and the requirements of the space. Yellow linoleum with its flexibility and the warm wood are placed on the ground in areas where the body has direct contact. Glazed ceramic, coated grey and wood are used in enclosed spaces as an unbiased softening quality; much like the white walls used in the general spaces acting as neutral and transformable support where light can be reflected.
Colour and light_ at its secondary level, is used not as a decorative element, but becomes an expressive instrument with a psychological-sensitive quality. The vibration of the different colours becomes a support of encouragement in the activity of exercise or recovery. Colour is used for its capacity to relax or activate, and assists in the stimulation of other senses that can work on an emotional level for the different activities carried out in the centre.
Limits diffusion. Search of freedom. Stimulation of the senses. Connection with the mind, body and soul. Atmosphere of openness and expansion. Meditation and relaxation. Space as a sensitive membrane that vibrates... changing space..., space as transmitter and receiver.