A Shot into the Green: Sport Centre in Barcelona
Client: BIMSA, Institut Barcelona Esports (IBE), Ajuntament de Barcelona
Architects: Anna Noguera, Javier Fernandez
Structural planning: Bernuz Fernández SLP
Location: Carrer de Sant Iscle, 50, 08031 Barcelona (ES)
Social housing projects from the 1960s, few green spaces and a hilly topography: the Turó de la Peira district in north Barcelona is not among the most privileged neighbourhoods of the Mediterranean metropolis. People used to get their exercise on this lot in the Carrer de Sant Iscle − but informally, on asphalt and pavement surrounded by bare concrete walls. In 2014, the municipality announced a competition to design a new sport centre and redesign the inside of the block. The team comprising Anna Noguera and Javier Fernandez prevailed with a concept for a two-storey building featuring a swimming hall downstairs and a gym above. The design called for a wooden supporting structure and a translucent façade in which polycarbonate panels alternate with glazed areas. An open steel framework overgrown with climbing plants surrounds the structure on three sides. Inside this expanded façade zone, ramps and stairways link the different levels of the building.
The generous use of polycarbonate multi-skin panels and the 24 skylights flood the interior with bright light in the daytime. However, the views seldom extend beyond the façade greenery, which is rooted in hydroponic troughs and irrigated with rainwater collected on the roof of the hall. The simple, unclad supporting structure of laminated wooden beams determines the interior ambience on both levels. In the swimming hall, the wood contrasts with the cool shades of the pool and the tiled flooring. In the gym, a hardwood floor and impact-resistant walls of laminated wood round out the material palette.