Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Espai Ridaura in Girona, Spain by Capella Garcia Arquitectura (designed using ArchiCAD)
April 3rd, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Capella Garcia Arquitectura
This is a multipurpose facility in Santa Cristina d’Aro, Girona, in the district of Baix Empordà. Santa Cristina d’Aro is situated close to the coast, in the upper reach of the Vall d’Aro, and the river Ridaura flows through it close to the town centre. The municipality is growing as a result of the large amount of tourist activity during the summer months, which means that it already possesses considerable leisure and cultural facilities. Nonetheless, the facilities in Santa Cristina were very basic and quite a few years old, as well as being at some distance from the town centre. So much so that the concerts of the Santa Cristina International Chamber Music Festival took place in the parish church.
It therefore became essential to build a new facility that could accommodate the rich cultural and leisure life of the town in a venue that would meet the requisite standards of quality, with sufficient capacity, and equipped with the latest technology, making it possible to programme both professional performances and local gatherings. The Espai Ridaura therefore provides a multipurpose space with room for 345 seated spectators (1,286 standing), suited to the fundamental functions of a small auditorium—stage performances, dances, small trade fairs, lectures, small conferences, etc. A system of fold-away seating enables the level central space to be cleared, making it possible even for vehicles to enter.
SITE AND LOCATION
The main hall is a level space, unobstructed, with a free height of about 6 metres. It is equipped with retractile tiers of seating with a capacity of 202 spectators, the remainder being accommodated on movable chairs. The stage consists of dismountable modules. This configuration is intended to give maximum flexibility to the use of the space, allowing many different arrangements of audience and performance, ranging from the most conventional theatre or concert, to dances, trade fairs, fashion shows, performance art, exhibitions, etc. At the rear of the stage is a large glass window to allow the landscape, the great mass of green that lines the Ridaura river, to “enter” the building to bring character to the space, bringing it closer to nature, as well as affording natural light. To darken the stage when the type of event so requires, a system of curtains creates a “black box”.
The rear part of the stage has been sufficiently dimensioned to allow various alternative ways of assembling the stage as well as providing storage space for items that are not being used for the current event. This space has a direct connection with the exterior, allowing the entry of vehicles for loading and unloading. A small dressing room with toilet and shower is also provided for stage performances. Special care has been taken to make the building accessible to everyone—children, the elderly, handicapped people… Hence, changes of level have been avoided and the toilets are equipped for disabled users.
MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT
The entire roof employs the environment-friendly “green roof” system, which as well as maintaining a rich and varied vegetation, provides excellent acoustic and thermal insulation for the interior, as well as requiring minimal maintenance. There are also thermal solar panels to generate hot water, and a low-consumption lighting system. Large skylights light the central passageway. Both elements of the building employ a standardised system of prefabricated panels that are individualised by patches of earthy pigments in the same range of colours as those of the land on which the building stands, and which do not require subsequent maintenance.
Although the building is intended to be multifunctional, its use as an auditorium was regarded as primordial; for this reason excellent acoustic insulation has been provided. Furthermore, the materials used in the interior have been chosen to ensure the appropriate acoustic response with regard to reverberation time for music. In addition, all the necessary lighting, sound and stage equipment has been installed to meet the needs of the whole range of intended activities. Above the stage area a gantry is provided for hanging lamps or scenery. This gantry can be reached from the rear of the stage area by way of a small side staircase, which also provides access to two large storage areas.
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