Thu, April 26, 2012

Rehabitation of Former Prison as Cultural Civic Center // Exit Architects


The former Palencia Provincial Prison complex was created at the end of the XIX century, built with brick bearing walls following the “neomudéjar” style, and composed mainly of four two-storey wings and some other with one storey. On this building was planned a comprehensive refurbishment to transform the former use and convert it into a center that promotes the social and cultural activity in this part of the town.

Exit Architects’ proposal was intended to convert the former prison into a meeting place, recovering some of the old spaces, and creating at the same time new structures that make possible the new planned activities. It is a project that respects the existing building, which is given a contemporary, lighter appearance, and where the natural light will play a key role.

With this aim the main two-storey wings have been refurbished, emptying their interior and placing a new independent structure to bear the new floors and roofs. Besides, between the main wings have been built new connecting pavilions, which form the new complex perimeter and give it a modern and friendly aspect. To introduce the light in the building the architects have to remove the old covered with tiles which were in very poor condition, and have been replaced by others of zinc that open large skylights which introduce light into the open halls of the Center.

The entire building is organized around a great hall that connects the 4 pavilions of the former prison. It is a diaphanous space based only on a few mild cylindrical courtyards of glass that illuminate and provide the backbone of the stay. Due to its central location in relation to the pavilions, this space acts as a nerve center and distributor of users, across the Pavilion access and reception, directed towards the rest of the areas of the Centre.

Via Exit Architects








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