Federico García Lorca Centre
Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
The new building that houses the Federico García Lorca Centre is the work of MX_SI architectural studio, the Barcelona-based practice that won the international ideas competition organized in 2005. The facility emerges as a new cultural landmark that merges naturally and fluidly into the historic fabric of the city of Granada, acquiring a significant urban representativeness.
The entrance to the new space is designed as a great threshold, a doorway that symbolizes the Federico García Lorca Centre’s opening up to the city, and vice versa. Its architecture organizes a sequence of urban scenarios at different scales that leads visitors inside and incorporates the foyer and the public elements of the brief into the outdoor spaces making up the setting.
The Federico García Lorca Centre, in Granada’s Plaza de la Romanilla, opens its doors with the aim of disseminating the work of the poet and all the national and international contemporary artistic manifestations in the fields of literature, theatre, the visual arts, music, research and education that are associated with the values and the defence of freedom that mark his legacy. An international ideas competition was organized in 2005 to design a building capable of housing the artistic, academic and social programme of the Centre, and was won by the project of Barcelona-based international practice MX_SI. The jury, comprising Rafael Moneo, Francesco Dal Co, Juan José La Huerta, Alberto Campo Baeza, Juan Calatrava, Ángel Luis Gijón, Carlos Alberdi, Ángel Muñoz Cadenas, Luis Gerardo García Royo, Inmaculada López Calahorro and Laura García-Lorca, chose their project for its sensibility to the need to conserve the legacy and identity of the place, producing a building that forms a natural part of public space and blends into this urban setting, and presenting an entrance which, like a threshold, creates a sequence of urban scenarios and continues the plaza in which it is situated.
The boundary between the historic urban context and the architectural space is blurred by extending the threshold of the building that houses the Federico García Lorca Centre towards the public space of Plaza de La Romanilla. The design strategy consists in sculpting the empty space of the site to generate a great doorway to the new amenity at different scales. In this way, entrance takes place via a passageway covered by beams and bridges that generate an interplay of shadows and create three-dimensional and spatial relations. In turn, the intervention naturally and fluidly integrates the plaza with the ground floor of the Centre, a space free of structural elements to accommodate a flexible, versatile programme of activity.
The building, comprising two volumes of 4,700 m2, is laid out in a succession of different flexible and expressive spaces that house the various cultural uses. A 400-seat theatre equipped with an acoustic shell and mobile walls that soundproof it from the foyer and provide the necessary quality for concerts and plays. A library made up of two spaces of differing heights, for the book stacks and the reading room, which offers views of the suspended box that is the iron-clad archive where the poet’s original manuscripts are safeguarded. A gallery of generous dimensions that occupies the basement. Plus a cafeteria, a shop, offices, storage space and services.
The new centre is built of in-situ concrete, giving it a surface that is smooth to the
eye and to the touch. This texture was the answer to the search for a nish similar
to natural stone that would dialogue with the architectures of the historic centre of Granada, as well as ensuring urban representativeness and making its presence felt as a cultural landmark in the community.