The goal of the project was to insert in the center of the city of Santander, in an area occupied by a playground shared by 1,000 children (from 3 different schools) a sports hall that, besides the students use, would provide an open infrastructure to the neighborhood.
It was obvious that the new intervention should not decrease the existing outdoors available area (especially 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 a 45 × 24m indoor sports court, with stands for 250 people, changing rooms, gym, and storage space.
The proposal splits the current courtyard into two halves, densifying one of them to double the existing area by using the roof for a new patio [P2] floating 5 meters above the street level and 8 meters above the indoor court [P3].
Nowadays, 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, and soccer is the dominant activity; P2 is used by younger ones, since in the “roof” they can be 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 in a rainy day.
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