Team with Mi5 arquitectos. 2006-2011. Teruel [Spain]
Underground Leisure Lair and Public Space / Guarida subterránea de ocio y espacio público
*Photography: Miguel de Guzmán (www.imagensubliminal.com) / Javier de Paz (www.estudioballoon.es)
In 1987 the remains of "Aragosaurus ischiaticus" were dug up and catalogued by a group of researchers consisting of Sanz, Buscalioni, Casanovas and Santafé at the town of Galve, in the province of Teruel. It was the first dinosaur to be found at the Iberian Peninsula.
Teruel's underground, turned into a tourist appeal by thematic parks such as Dinópolis, is full of discoveries that remind us the lost existence of a powerful life in the origins of the province. It's not surprising then that we have to return to its deepness to try to reactivate it.
Facing the existence of an obsolete and underused market building occupying most of the meagre public space of the nearly nonexistent Domingo Gascon Square (even if provided with a commemorative statue), the decision taken is that of demolishing this old structure (a very inflexible and exclusive typology) and introducing a huge volume of youth leisure activities on the underground, to revitalize and to foster Teruel's activity, while the old public square existing before the market building was constructed is regained. The public space and leisure centre project takes the expression of a buried Godzilla (fictitious Japanese monster appearing as a mutant dinosaur): a telluric element of contemporary and pop expression.
This big buried volume pushes away the earth's surface cracking it to produce a new urban topography. Embedding and camouflage strategies (already in use by the monster when trying to hide its bigness concerning the reality surrounding it) allow the creation of a large public facility (interior and exterior) without disrupting existing urban fabric on the old city center. Visitors will, by means of this operation, take up this surface turned into a public square, and they will go moving down in between the stratums, being entertained by meeting activities, fun and sports.
These new activities and their contemporary expression, prove new ways of dialogue with historical city areas, especially in a city as Teruel where history has taken up such an important place. It is the discovery of these new possibilities of expression and in a daring appropriation of them, where potential opportunities for the surviving of these patrimony are lying.
This experimental typology is an investigation that pushes the boundaries of structural means and technical regulations to explore architectural prototypes that may be able to generate some new ways in achieving densification, setting an scenario of public enhancement and optimism in order to accomplish citizenship empowering, historical urban fabric revitalization and intensification of city life.
*Autorship: Mi5 arquitectos + PKMN [pac-man] architectures
*Client: Urban Teruel. Teruel City Council.
Architectural Technologists: María del Carmen Nombela and Ana Macipe.
Structure Engineering: Mecanismo Diseño y Cálculo de Estructuras S.L.
Systems Engineering: Solventa Ingenieros Consultores S.L.
Geotechnics: Geodeser S.A.
Topography: Julia del Toro
*Contractors: Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (F.C.C.)
*Location: Plaza Domingo Gascón. Teruel
*Building completion period: 2008-2011
Mi5: www.mi5arquitectos.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
PKMN: www.pkmn.es / email@example.com
*Budget: Building work: 7.574.459 euros
*Area: Building work: 3.600 m2 urbanization + 3005 m2 built area
*Main materials: Building work: composite steel and concrete structure
*Project completion period: Building work: September 2007 - Mars 2008*
*Building completion period: Building work: November 2008 - December 2011
Miguel de Guzmán (www.imagensubliminal.com)
Javier de Paz (www.estudioballoon.es)