estudio ji architects
Restoration of the Beti-Jai building. Madrid
architects: jorge frías/irene zurdo/blas antón
typology: sports/cultural
class: ideas competition
date: 08/2018
Client / developer: City council of Madrid
photos / images: estudioji/blas antón


The rehabilitation of the BetiJai fronton has allowed the recovery of a building characterized by a very specific use, focused on the different modalities of the game of the pelota court, and which will again allow the attendance of spectators to the different ball game competitions. The interventions made allowed to recover the original structure of the building, recovering the stands and the adjoining spaces, as well as the play area and the plot area not occupied by the building.

The intervention we propose has as a priority objective to enhance the utility for the city of the general structure recovered, opening the historic pediment to new possibilities
of use, always compatible with the priority sport activity. The proposal allows the building to be more versatile in use and allows a constant occupation over time, beyond the periods of sports competition. The architectural characteristics of the building, its location in the city, the flexibility of use we introduce and the cover solution
mobile raised allow the city to have a flexible space of great potential, capable of housing activities of different surface needs, number of visitors, content, etc.

In order to make the use of the whole building more flexible, a new structure of the pediment is proposed, divided into two buildings, A and B, with the capacity to function
independent, and the space of stands, C, all of them articulated by the vertical communication cores. The playground, with its mobile roof, could join and complete the surface needs of alternative activities to sports, when its use is not required for that purpose.



The cover proposal of the pediment enclosure is based on a reticulated three-dimensional structure resting on a vertical structure located on the perimeter of dividing walls that surround the surface of the plot. On this primary structure, other partially mobile self-supporting vaulted structures are supported, which give the roof a greater versatility of use.

The enclosure system adopted, supported on the substructure, combines vaulted and flat parts, which allows the movement of the vaulted parts and the variation of the roof closing configurations.

The proposed solution allows us to dream of a porous and variable roof that, like clouds in the sky, makes possible the variations that best adapt to the activities that take place in the enclosure, regulating its opening, the degree of transparency of its configuration, the level of ventilation and thermal regulation, etc.




The roof introduces a system based on the collaboration of structural elements and self-supporting enclosures. The main structure serves as support and sliding rail for the substructure where the enclosure layers are supported.
The substructure uses its geometric definition to cover the necessary lights in both the upper and lower part of the new roof.

The formed conformation layers, based on fiber reinforced plastic materials, collaborate with their shape to the stability of the panels supported on the substructure.



Within the general structure recovered, the proposal focuses on the rehabilitation of some of the original uses and the incorporation of new uses to previously underutilized spaces.

The intervention for the adaptation of the existing spaces to the new uses centers in the stands, the spaces adjoining the stands, the space of the plot not occupied by the building and the roof of building A, with access from the main street.

In the stands, it has been decided to recover the best visibility area for this purpose, incorporating the rest of the space as part of building B. During sports competitions, this space is incorporated into the conventional stands as a space for the public related to the use of cafeteria, while the rest of the time, the space offers the possibility of introducing new independent uses of the sports one.



The materials selected for the enclosure on the roof allow the use of light
natural for the space of the ball game.

The combination of translucent plastic materials of the upper layers, combined with slats in the lower membrane, allows the nuance of the intensity of the light. This materiality, together with the vaulted geometric of the enclosures allows a light and transparent perception of the roof, recreating the open space where the ball game was originally held.


The space generated between the supporting structure and the double layers of the roof enclosure is used to house different air conditioning and lighting machinery.

The double skin of the enclosure becomes a lamp to house the necessary lights for the start-up of activities during the night, with a great capacity for nuancing the
light and configuration to respond to the needs of each moment and each use of the playground of the pelota court.

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