This Sports center in Barcelona , is designed by Alvaro Siza in 2005. The 40,000sg sports complex centre is part of a larger sports pak development that includes a new stadium for Barcelona’s football club.
The site was a flat rectangle of empty land between the dense streets of the post-war suburb to the north and Barcelona’s ring road to the south. Access roads separate it from a school to the west and playing fields to the east.
The building is set back from the built-up urban edge and made up of a distinct group of large interlocking volumes of white concrete which express the primary programmes within: a rectangular box for the 2,500-seat sports hall, an oval drum for the swimming pool and a long bar for the ancillary facilities. From a distance the ridge of hills that keeps Barcelona’s sprawling suburbs pressed against the sea and gives the city much of its topographical character emerge above the buildings. The scarred concrete profile of the sports hall fits effortlessly into the tableau with the line of tree-covered outcrops on the horizon.
Two ramps, each the size of a town square, rise up from the car park and meet at an entrance 4m above the ground. The stilted curves and monolithic materiality of the sports hall disassociate it from other big out-of-town sheds and evoke memories of landforms, while the ramps imply that you have to climb some pre-existing terrain before you can enter the building. These gestures begin to detach you from the reality of the building’s lacklustre surroundings, a process that continues inside to become the main ordering force of the building.
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