3 better than 1!
With this statement we summarize our proposal for the competition announced by the City of Santander in July 2000 for the construction of a Sports Hall in Plaza de Numancia. Similar to a supermarket slogan, it takes the best of this type of advertising: immediacy.
And that’s why, faced with a seemingly complex problem, we bring a conceptually simple solution: it was about inserting in the center of the city, in an area occupied by a playground shared by 1,000 children divided into three schools, a sports hall that, besides an intense student use, would provide an open equipment to the neighborhood repeatedly requested in recent years.
It was obvious (we understood) that with our intervention we should not decrease the available surface at that time for use as outdoor playground (specially considering that the school population increases every year), so the use of the roof of the new building was fully justified.
Then we only had to “make room” for an indoor sports court of 45 × 24 m2, with stands for 250 spectators, spacious and shockproof changing room, gym and stores, all adapted for use by students with disabilities, and with the necessary flexibility to open after school hours with independent access from the street, and even become the headquarters of local teams on weekends.
We decided to split the current courtyard into two approximately equal parts, intervening in the area far away from Numancia Square to double the existing surface by converting the roof of the new building in usable space for a new patio [P2] located 7 meters above the street level. Thus we lean the main volume to the existing common walls, eliminating the view of the inner courtyards of nearby houses (manifestly degraded) and leaving the new outdoor patio [P1] in front of the main facade of the building, where general access occurs.
Today, when the sports facilities have been operating for many years, we have found that each of the three new courtyards [P1, P2, and indoor P3] is specialized to accommodate a particular type of users and activities: P1 is used by older students, where soccer is the dominant activity; P2 is used by younger ones, since in the “roof” are more controlled and away from the street; and P3 is used for any activity that requires a large covered space, even as a playground for everyone when it rains.
At the end they always surprise us!
Marcos Parga_PO2 Arquitectos / Year: 2004 / Location: Santander, Spain / Program: Sports / Type: Open Competition. 1st Prize / Status: Built / Client: City of Santander / Size: 2.251m2 / Budget: 2.873.092 euros / Photography: Miguel de Guzman_ImagenSubliminal