Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects
and Eduardo Delgado Orusco

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Slideshow: in our second project this week by Madrid studio Exit Architects, the designers teamed up with architect Eduardo Delgado Orusco to create this civic and cultural centre inside a former prison in Palencia, Spain.

Constructed from load-bearing brickwork, the nineteenth century building comprises four wings that have been completely refurbished to accommodate an auditorium, a library, multi-function rooms and classrooms for art and music.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

A translucent glass pavilion provides an entrance to the building, while new walls and roof structures have been created over and around the existing blocks using zinc and more semiopaque glass.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

At the centre of the four wings is a new hall, inside which large round skylights extend down to create cylindrical light wells and miniature courtyards.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

The library is contained within the wing that previously housed prisoner cell blocks and features a central reading area beneath an octagonal skylight.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

Our other project this week by Exit Architects is a concrete sculpture museum, which you can see here.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

Photography is by Fernando Guerra.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

Here's some more text from Exit Architects:


Rehabilitation of Former Prison of Palencia as Cultural Civic Center

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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

Our proposal intends 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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

To introduce the light in the building we had 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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

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.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

The hall gives way to the lateral pavilions where the auditorium and various music and art classrooms are. On the upper floor, under a large glass skylights, are two multi-purpose areas dedicated to more numerous groups.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

In the area where is the cells of prisoners were, we placed the library. The reading rooms are articulated around a central space of high-rise under a lantern of octagonal shape that acts as a distributor for the different areas and that arrives vertical communication and control areas and offices.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

Finally, access to the Centre are carried out through a very light and bright glazed perimeter that pretends to be a filter between the city and the activity of the interior.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

A structural steel beam travels abroad tying areas glazed with the former factory walls getting an alleged industrial air.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

The use of metallic materials in all intervention, as the zinc in facades and roofs, glass and uglass in the lower bodies and skylights and the aluminium lattices as light filters also contributes to this.

Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

architects: EXIT ARCHITECTS - ÁNGEL SEVILLANO / JOSÉ Mª TABUYO
location: AVDA. VALLADOLID Nº 26, 34034 PALENCIA
clients: MINISTERIO DE FOMENTO, AYUNTAMIENTO DE PALENCIA

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Civic Centre in Palencia by Exit Architects

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area: 5.077 m2
budget: 9.675.038 EUROS
project date: 2007
completion date: 2011
quantity surveyor: IMPULSO INDUSTRIAL ALTERNATIVO. ÁLVARO FERNÁNDEZ

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structural engineers: NB35. JOSÉ LUIS LUCERO
mechanical engineers: GRUPO JG. JUAN ANTONIO POSADAS
light consultant: MANUEL DÍAZ CARRETERO
collaborators: MARIO SANJUÁN, IBÁN CARPINTERO, MIGUEL GARCÍA-REDONDO, SILVIA N. GÓMEZ

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  • Sultony

    Sorry, but it looks more like an industrial building, heartless and cold.

    • anonymous

      which is exactly the beauty of old industrial buildings, but one needs an eye to see them.

  • JessMan

    For me it still looks like a prison, maybe for very rich people but in my eyes it is still a prison.

  • rick blaine

    Actually it WAS a prison…..one of the proyect tasks was to keep the original brick-builded facade

    • Chris

      Yeah I don't there was an deliberation over its previous occupants, just as to whether it was successful in eliminating the negative elements of its past.

  • Karl Metz

    Wow, this is an incredibly well executed building and it will look stunning when filled with visitors.

  • https://www.facebook.com/sivanessane Sivanessane Thiagarajan

    Superb! Its looks like a industrial building…

  • http://kientruc.me abs

    yeah, it really looks like a industrial buiding, but quite beatiful buiding