017_Juan XXIII Foundation Headquarters

As an increasingly visible part of our current society, people with intellectual disabilities are claiming for a new and active roll in the construction of our shared future. In recent years, it has become a routine for many of them to look for a job after their educational period as a way for social integration. Special Employment Centers help them in the process, allowing them to exercise their rights in industrial workshops so that they can receive a salary. When their intellectual coefficient is not high enough, this process is handled through an Occupational Center, where integration and development have a therapeutic approach and need a space similar to a school to stimulate the development of these people through occupational therapy, psychological assistance, speech therapy, and physical and social training.
Finally, the Day Center provides comprehensive care to people with mental disabilities severely affected, promoting their emotional wellbeing and their maximum personal development through technical support and specific programs.

The Juan XXIII Foundation has more than 40 years providing these services in Madrid, and has decided to modernize its facilities by building a new, much larger building.

While normally each of these three activities are developed in separate buildings, the Foundation presents the challenge of designing a building where they can be unified, so that from the beginning a complex functional program determine our proposal: the interior social framework resembles a “playing field” in which are involved teams from very different divisions and categories, playing different games and sports. We opted for a neutral and uniform envelope (through a hermetic and industrial facade closed to the noises produced by trucks and trains ) that cover a complex landscape of internal relations, including in 10,000m2  a large 12 meters high warehouse, industrial workshops, parking for 70 cars, changing rooms, offices, kitchen, a school with classrooms, gym, dining room, outdoor playground area, crafts and computers areas, sensory room and offices of psychologists, pedagogues, doctors, physiotherapists, social workers, etc. …

As the Foundation defends primarily the quality of life of the disabled and value their work above the machine productivity, speed and economic benefit, our project, with a budget that has adapted to the generosity of others (companies, institutions, governments…), subordinate aesthetic claims, innovative materials and formal complexity in favor of sequential generous spaces well lit and visually connected to provide users orientation and maximum degree of autonomy and personal development.

Marcos Parga_PO2 Arquitectos / Year: 2005 / Location: Madrid, Spain / Program: Mixed Use / Type: Invited Competition. 1st Prize / Status: Built / Client: Juan XXIII Foundation / Size: 10.000m2 / Budget: 5.868.566 euros / Images: Miguel de Guzman