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.
PROTOTYPE FOR INDOOR SWIMMING POOLS IN LA CORtÑA, Spain by Francisco Mangado
April 12th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Francisco Mangado
To provide the small rural sites of the area with sports facilities, the Provincial Government ofLa Coruñalaunched a series of architecture competitions, by which swimming pools and gymnasiums have been built in consecutive phases starting from a series of prototypes that each City Council could choose. Thought out as a generic solution for an area with no distinct features, the prototype selected by the municipalities of Oleiros, Melide, Fene and Pobra do Caramiñal indirectly points at the rain as the common aspect of the Galician landscape. A convex roof shaped as a large gutter is thereby proposed as the identifying feature of the project which, on the other hand, is marked by its compactness and capacity to adjust to different urban characteristics.
Grouped in a single building, two double-height volumes respectively house the gymnasium and the swimming pool. Between these two voids, the volume containing the kitchen, the cafeteria and the restaurant is inserted as a bridge which opens on either side to these dominant spaces by way of two openings that imitate the shape of the section. The dressing rooms, sauna, and first-aid room are located below this gastronomy area on the first floor. The project’s second group of unvarying elements is constituted by two large openings in the lower part of the side facades which invite the landscape into the gymnasium and swimming pool, respectively. In the same way, other horizontal windows in the upper part illuminate the ceiling surface, underscoring the autonomy of the roof with respect to the rest of the building.
One same structural frame – formed by concrete pillars and a curved beam of laminated wood – geometrically supports the varying section of the roof, whose water-channelling function is pointed up by the large exterior drainpipe on one of the corners of the building. Set off against the cold appearance of the zinc roof sheeting, a vertical iroko wood siding wraps the building, transforming it into a sort of ark abandoned amidst the hills ofGalicia. As in the electrical wiring posts which can still be seen in the area’s countryside, a grey patina will gradually take over the wooden enclosure, favoring the gradual merging of the building into its surroundings. Like a carpet of stone pavers among which grass grows, the external work is found the only specific element of each plot, that which will allow to adapt this abstract prototype to the landscape and urban features of each site.
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