estudio ji architects
Multicultural Building Poble Nou de Benitatxell. Alicante
architects: jorge frías/irene zurdo
typopoly: utility building
class: ideas competition
date: 06/2016
Client / developer: City council of Benitatxell, Alicante
photos / images: estudioji
Honorable Mention !!

Inserted in a low-density residential plot and located between single-family dwellings, we believe that the new Benitatxell Multicultural Center must be closely linked and integrated with this plot and its immediate surroundings.
If we look around there are great urban opportunities for the new piece to be a backbone of the fabric and not an isolated element and unrelated to its environment and its inhabitants.
We have considered 2 fundamental premises:
One, the aforementioned relationship with its environment, and the second the pre-existence of a large CENTENARY FICUS inside the place of the performance.
It seems to us that merging these two premises into a single one is an interesting line of action to incorporate a public building as a Cultural Center in an urban environment and that its inhabitants make use of it causing a moderate environmental impact, but with great repercussion of activity.


In the south face, the plot enjoys the Park of the new Plaza, which has a very active use.
On the other hand, in the east facade, there is a vacuum which at the moment is literally occupied by vehicles.
Both pieces are considered as fundamental elements of the project to achieve full integration of the new Cultural Center.
In this way the park, without needing to act in it, will be connected pedestrian with the accesses of the Center.
As for the emptying of its east facade, we will preserve this definition of "emptiness" as an anteroom or urban vestibule that serves as recreation and decompression. For this we maintain the use of parking, although reducing it and improving its environmental condition integrating vegetation, trees and also connecting it with the main pedestrian access of the new center.
These connections will be micro-performances of pavement that preserve their controlled circulation but increase in environmental quality and integrate the urban fabric with the new public building.


A Cultural Center with Auditorium, by its volume, has a strong impact in the city. That is why to favor in its integration, we have created a main piece of access to quota 0.00 with a maximum height of 3.5 meters which welcomes you between gardens and is structuring the rest of main pieces: Auditorium, Multipurpose room, cafeteria, terrace.
The large volume of auditorium is inserted in the terrain through the slope of its stands, leaving its main access in the quota 0.00.
As it is a lot between medianeras, these have been used to attach to them the most opaque volumes (auditorium and piece of services), thus decongesting the corner, which becomes an interchange of pedestrian flow and access. In this way the homogeneity in volume and materials of the residential fabric continues.


The main public access is through the organizational center of the project: The ficus. This becomes a circulatory element, through which the connections and access of the public are made: Access to the interior of the building and auditorium. And direct access to the cafeteria and veranda terrace, having constant visual presence in all points of the building.
The access of actors, tramoya, loading and unloading ... etc, is done through a solid piece of services that connects directly with the stage, warehouses, hoists etc ... that give service to the Center.



On the access piece there is a public space of leisure and outdoor leisure where you can develop different activities with time independence of the Cultural Center. In this space is also located the cafeteria.
It is considered as a volume in the open air which is bordered by a semitransparent piece like CELOSIA, which incorporates and shelters the ficus centennial inside the building.
This element serves several functions:
1.- Create a microclimate that along with the tree gives freshness in the hardest season of the Mediterranean: summer.
2.- It becomes a recognizable image and icon
3.- Sail and sift the activities of the interior
4.- Sail and sift the views from the inside
5.- It offers controlled transparency to a typology that is usually quite massive.
6.- It is the structure of the access bays and creates thresholds.
Its organic geometry responds symbolically to the eyes of the spectators. The set of radiated circumferences form a structural mechanism with each other. It consists of 2 concentric circles where the interior moves laterally generating the volume that gives movement to the facade and the rigidity necessary to stabilize the structural mechanism.


The main element and around which are organized all the services of the multicultural building is The Auditorium.
This one has a pre-project capacity of 233 in the patio of seats and 103 in the amphitheater.
All the slopes are calculated for a perfect isoptic of 100% of the localities.
The stage has a pit and technical floor for versatility of scenography. The "mouth of scene" is 12 m and its height is 7m. The background of the stage is 10 m in which part of the backstage is included.
It presents an acoustic paneling in chromatic tones according to the different shades of green offered by the preserved ficus. Thus, the same a set of colors will be spread by the seats.
The main access of the auditorium is through the lobby from ground floor to level 0,00 to offer total accessibility.
The main nucleus of the building will provide service and access to the amphitheater, located at +6.85 m. At this level there is a distributor lobby with views of the outer platform and latticework.






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