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Strategic Repurposing: A New Cultural Space in the Torredembarra Theater by NUA arquitectures & NAM arquitectura

Strategic Repurposing: A New Cultural Space in the Torredembarra Theater by NUA arquitectures & NAM arquitectura

A New Cultural Space in the Torredembarra Theater by NUA arquitectures & NAM arquitectura Ph. Jose Hevia

In the context of the economic euphoria of the early 2000s, the Theater-Auditorium of Torredembarra was conceived as a large facility located next to the train station. The proposed building had 2,700m² and a hall with a seating capacity of 500. Due to the drastic changes in the economic dynamics in subsequent years, construction of the building was abandoned in 2010 and work did not continue for seven years, a period during which it was the subject of theft and vandalism. Seven years later, the Torredembarra City Council announced a competition to partially revive the building. The aim was to transform the lobby of the Theater-Auditorium into a cultural space, recovering almost 25 percent of the preexisting building and opening it up to the public. NUA arquitectures and NAM arquitectura took on the task.

Ph. José Hevia

The proposal aimed to take full advantage of everything that already was in place and that is in good condition, recycling flooring, installations, carpentry, layouts, and using systems and low-cost materials to minimize the economic impact and material for the project.

The project has three basic strategies. First of all, the architects planned the strategic elimination of one of the two twin staircases that go to the mezzanine. This managed to free the necessary space to put a stage on the ground floor.

From a material point of view, a single radical movement colors the entire interior space in black and unifies the walls, ceilings, and pavement, blurring the geometry of the lobby. With this intervention, the versatility of the space is also conducive to hosting a variety of small-scale performances. To counter the black and to energize and humanize the space, the architects used wooden elements.

Finally, on the outside, a new curtain is built that acts as the base of the building and that represents the new space.  It is a new light and semi-transparent façade with a metal mesh screen that protects the entry and acts as a filter between the theater and the city. It gives a new identity to the renovated building.

This intervention has little economic repercussions and is understood to be a first step in the preparation of the entire building through several phases. As time passes and the City Council has more economic ability, there is the possibility to extend this project to the rest of the Theater-Auditorium so that citizens can enjoy the building completely.

Ph. José Hevia

DATE: 2018 / LOCATION: Torredembarra, Tarragona, Spain / AREA: 635 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: Cultural Space / STATUS: built / DESIGN: NUA arquitectures (Arnau Tiñena, Maria Rius, FerranTiñena) + NAM arquitectura / TECHNICAL ARCHITECT: Alberto Viñas / CONSTRUCTION: Artífex Infraestructuras / CONSULTANTS: STC Enginyeria (Facilities) / PHOTOS: José Hevia

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