The project proposes a new, light and textile imaginary for a building with solid tectonic and multiple layers of different historical times… where citizens can relate in between others and with the culture and concerns of their time.

The title: “Fabrics and Furniture… (Beti’s skirts), talks about light and transformable elements for the proposal. These elements are able to disappear without leaving traces. Meanwhile they are present they also look ephemeral and ready for change. They conform a tool-kit for adaptability.

In order to cover the main space- necessary for the correct functioning- we propose a new structure that will be able to give support to the multilayer textile covering. The different fabrics conforms a canopy (or a collection of skirts) that change its configuration depending on the program developed or the meteorology. The different layers overlap, creating filtered views of the sky but also a thermal cushion really useful given the high sun exposure of the area. A collection of wood frames (6x15m) hang also from the structure supported in multiple points. These wood frames unfold a cable structure with acoustic fabrics that are in charge of the sound conditioning of the court. The frames can slide downward, changing their height. They can even go down completely for maintenance or changes in the configuration of cables and fabrics. Each acoustic wood frame is independent so they can be set at different heights if this is necessary, especially important to adapt to the different programs developed below. The main program will be the “Juego de pelota” (Basque ball game) but we consider also performative and scenic programs and public uses as an open square for the neighbourhood. The cables have counterweights that shape them, and these counterweights can host different devices that mainly are used when the scenic or public uses are set. We talk about special lighting, microphones or speakers, but also thermodynamic devices like humidifiers needed in summer. So this hanging structure would provide the needed infrastructures for the programs below the new “skirts”.

Acoustically there are two main positions for the wood frames. For “Basque ball game” they will be set at their maximum height. The acoustic fabrics of the frames would absorb in this way the strong sounds coming from the play, in order to avoid disturbances in the dwellings located nearby. On the other hand when the scenic programs take place, the sound must be redirected to the stands. To achieve this the frames would go down (see detail in transversal sections).

In this way, a curatorial organization of uses is set. Some days and hours of the week the court would be open as public square, protected from sun and rain- when needed- to be enjoyed by the neighbours; some other days, the space would be open for the main use for Basque ball game; and this could be totally compatible with the scenic and theatre programs set as special events from time to time. The use of the building wants to be totally democratic: an open space for diverse urban scenarios and cultural and political expressions for, and by the citizens.

Under the court, in the new built area, this aim is enhanced as we propose a space for “Urban debates”, “Workshops” and “Lectures”. The goal is to have a landmark for participatory processes in the city, totally compatible with the sportive and cultural events.

Author: Mª Auxiliadora Gálvez

Collaborator and advisor: Enrique Larrumbide

Date: 2018

Status: Competition Project

Location: Madrid, Spain.