The proposal begins with an open competition entry promoted by the City Hall of Palafolls (Barcelona). The proposal requirements were only to cover an existing 40×20 meters concrete track in a very poor condition, which was mainly used for the training of a local children skating club, and the recreational play of five-a-side soccer and basketball. The open competition initially demanded only the covering of the track with a very small budget but, somehow, was demanding also for a project able to extend the sport area for other purposes.
In addition to the covering solution, the main contribution of the proposal was to allow in hypothetical successive phases the partial closure of the space to reach, at a very low cost, almost a multipurpose building that could even be used as an indoor place for eventual venues or small neighbourhood festivals.
Besides the difficulty to solve the structure with very limited means, attending to an important component of modularity and flexibility to house all purposes at a time, there is the fact of placing the new architectural item into a high quality natural landscape: the Sports Complex La Figuerassa, with a soccer field and an outdoor running track surrounded by beautiful trees. The main challenge of the proposal was to solve all this requirements from a really true economy of means and gestures.
The structural request is pushed to its tensional limits in a more than 8 meters canopy that protects the existing stands to the soccer field thus generate a huge covered outdoor area. With a total span of more than 44 meters, solely settled by lateral supports, it seemed necessary to assimilate the building technique to the industrialized construction methods, and sacrifice the possibility of having very elaborated details or joins. The whole structure was prefabricated in its different parts, assembled in the ground and raised in only two parts by heavy duty cranes. The assembly process took about three weeks.
After the completion of the structure assembly processes, one can only rely on the scale and the quality of only two materials: corrugated sheet metal and translucent polycarbonate panels, which cover the main front and the canopy.
Through the construction, the client demanded for the partial closure of the building. The front elevation, including hinged doors and some retractable stands for the families to attend the local exhibitions and local skating competitions, were executed in a later phase.
The final budget for the building, including the closures, restoration and extension of the track and the urbanization of the surroundings was just about 500.000 euro was, at about 330 euro/m2. Total completion of the sports complex is still awaiting for a final small building, as simple and also at very low cost, for dressing rooms.
Location: Complex Esportiu La Figuerassa, 08389 Palafolls-Barcelona, Spain
Architects: alcolea+tárrago arquitectos | Rubén A. Alcolea Rodríguez, Jorge Tárrago Mingo
Structure Consultant: Emetal Estructuras Metalicas SL
Contractor: Agusti Obres i Muntatges Industrials SL
Technical architect: Andres Alcolea Garrido
Client: Ajuntament de Palafolls
Surface area: 1522,10 sqm
Capacity: 147 places (retractile seats)
Project year: 2006 – 2007
Photographer: Pedro Pegenaute