Macaw cages at the Barcelona zoo
Macaw cages in the palm grove of the zoo.
The Ciutat Vella district, one of the most populated in Barcelona, is in constant search of free zones to satisfy its endowment needs. One of the facilities for which the district was deficient was a sports center of approximately 4,500m2 that would gather in its facilities a regulation covered basketball court, an outdoor sports court, an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor swimming pool, a gym that can be divided into various rooms and the corresponding changing rooms and services.
Within the general framework of the revision of the Master Plan of the Ciudadela Park, integrated into the Ciutat Vella district, it was decided to allocate a significant area to the location of sports equipment that would replace and improve a set of highly successful outdoor courts citizen, who was next to the entrance to the park from the Paseo del Marqués de la Argentera. The site chosen to locate the facility is aligned with the set of buildings that make up the façade of the Ciudadela park towards the Paseo Picasso: The old restaurant of the 1888 Universal Exhibition, current Museum of Zoology, the work of Lluís Domènech i Montaner; the Hivernacle, by Josep Amargós i Samaranch; the Museum of Geology and Natural Sciences of Antoni Rovira i Trias and finally the Umbracle, of Josep Fontseré i Mestres. The original project for the Ciudadela Park, drawn up in 1873 by Fontseré himself, already contemplated the construction of one more building, next to the Puerta del Marqués de la Argentera, completing the chain of buildings that close the park on the Ciutat Vella side.
The proposal affects an approximate floor area of 750m2. Its proximity to the aviary made it necessary to remodel the set of cages and rethink its location. Our project seeks to assimilate the scale of the sports center to that of the other buildings in the Park, trying to reorder the program to occupy as little floor space as possible and at the same time not rise above the other buildings. For this, the main uses, sports court, swimming pool, and changing rooms are located on a buried floor about 3.5 meters below the level of the park.
On the ground floor, at street level, is the general lobby and the entrance control for floors restricted to users. Likewise, from it and in an open way you can access the stands of the sports court and it allows a connection through the building between the Paseo Picasso and the Parque de la Ciudadela, as happens in the Hivernacle. The first floor is occupied by the multipurpose gym and fitness rooms and the second floor concentrates the rest of the program that requires this type of equipment (medical center, facilities, etc.) in addition to incorporating an outdoor swimming pool, with its corresponding services. This organization in height takes advantage of the difference in clearance between the sports center and the swimming pool to stagger the building, and, therefore, reduce the overall height to about 14 meters, which is considerably lower than that of the surrounding buildings and even lower than that of the surrounding woodland.
During the drafting of the preliminary project, the remains of the walls of the old Citadel erected by Felipe V in 1714 were located on the site, by means of tastings and infographics, at a depth of 5 meters from the level of the park. Its architectural quality and archaeological value They made the project adapt to the shape of the walls and provide them with the possibility of making them visible and accessible, at least in the pool area. Its layout delimits and separates the playful water area from the pool area, protecting the ruin by means of a small moat.
From the outside, the building, as with the rest of the Paseo Picasso, acts as a closure for the Park, also laying the foundations for the future fence of the Paseo de Circunvalación. For this reason, the ground floor is closed with glass, seeking maximum transparency between the street and the park. The rest of the floors alternate the glass enclosures with the solid ones, depending on the interior use. Finally, the building is covered with wooden sheets to protect itself from the sun, blend in with the trees and look for a place of its own near the shade house.