Recreation and Culture Centre Riudaura

The church and the town hall are the only public buildings of Riudaura, a small village with a population under 500 near Olot. The town wanted to enlarge its public realm with a new space for culture, leisure and sports activities. The site chosen was one at the entrance of the town, in a sunken piece of land, with views of the church tower.

Riudaura has no public buildings apart from a church and the town hall square since the school is confined to the lower floor of a house. The town wanted a new public space for its cultural, leisure and sports activities to be built on a site at the entrance to the town, topographically in a depression opposite the church.

Given these special conditions in terms of both the social context as well as the site itself, the challenge consisted in designing a single space for such a complex programme. The new building captures its environment. It is laid out as a horizontal line that accompanies, displays and underscores the vertical event of the church. The transversal alignment frees up and typifies a new square at the front. It is also sited to oversee the play, dance and sports zone. The building permits a link betwen the two spaces through dark, deep, recurrent gateways.

The challenge was creating an environment able to house different activities in a unique social context and landscape. The center marks its presence as a horizontal line that follows and brings out the vertical character of the church. Its crosswise position on the plot allows freeing up a space for a public plaza in front of it, which has been covered with a paved surface of concrete with basaltic arid and the steel sheets. It also presides over an area at the rear for play, dances and sports. These spaces, front and rear, are linked by a series of dark and deep passageways flanking the building. The prism, protected by a metal canopy and clad in oxidized steel sheeting with a varnish finish, contains an exhibition gallery, the bar and a multipurpose space for plays and conferences, the stage of which can also be used for open-air functions.