Teruel-zilla! by Mi5 Arquitectos,
and PKMN Architectures

| 8 comments
 

Madrid studios Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures have built a half-submerged culture and leisure centre in the middle of a public square in Teruel, Spain (+ slideshow).

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

The building replaces a redundant market hall in the centre of the Domingo Gascon Square in the World Heritage town, but unlike its predecessor the centre has a landscaped roof that steps down to ground level so that anyone passing by can simply walk over it.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

The centre of the square ramps down into the first underground floor, while escalators lead down to two more subterranean storeys.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

Across these three floors are a series of multipurpose spaces, including an auditorium that can also be used as a cinema or lecture hall, a large exhibition space that can also host events, a sports hall, a tourist information centre and a restaurant and bar.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

The steel and concrete structure of the building is exposed in each space and almost all the surfaces are finished in bright red.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Earlier this year we rounded up all our stories about underground architecture. See all the projects here.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

We've also recently featured a town hall from another World Heritage town in Spain.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

See all our stories about projects in Spain »

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Photography is by Miguel de Guzmán, apart from where otherwise stated.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Here's some more explanation from PKMN Architectures:


TERUEL-ZILLA!
Underground Leisure Lair and Public Space
Mi5 Arquitectos + PKMN Architectures

In 1987 the remains of “Aragosaurus ischiaticus” were dug up and catalogued by a group of researchers consisting of Sanz, Buscalioni, Casanovas and Santafé at the town of Galve, in the province of Teruel. It was the first dinosaur to be found at the Iberian Peninsula.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

Teruel’s underground, turned into a tourist appeal by thematic parks such as Dinópolis, is full of discoveries that remind us the lost existence of a powerful life in the origins of the province. It’s not surprising then that we have to return to its deepness to try to reactivate it.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

Facing the existence of an obsolete and underused market building occupying most of the meagre public space of the nearly nonexistent Domingo Gascon Square (even if provided with a commemorative statue), the decision taken is that of demolishing this old structure (a very inflexible and exclusive typology) and introducing a huge volume of youth leisure activities on the underground, to revitalize and to foster Teruel’s activity, while the old public square existing before the market building was constructed is regained.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

The public space and leisure centre project takes the expression of a buried Godzilla (fictitious Japanese monster appearing as a mutant dinosaur): a telluric element of contemporary and pop expression.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

This big buried volume pushes away the earth’s surface cracking it to produce a new urban topography. Embedding and camouflage strategies (already in use by the monster when trying to hide its bigness concerning the reality surrounding it) allow the creation of a large public facility (interior and exterior) without disrupting existing urban fabric on the old city center.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

Visitors will, by means of this operation, take up this surface turned into a public square, and they will go moving down in between the stratums, being entertained by meeting activities, fun and sports.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

These new activities and their contemporary expression, prove new ways of dialogue with historical city areas, especially in a city as Teruel where history has taken up such an important place.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Above: photograph is by Javier de Paz

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

It is the discovery of these new possibilities of expression and in a daring appropriation of them, where potential opportunities for the surviving of these patrimony are lying.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Click above for larger image

This experimental typology is an investigation that pushes the boundaries of structural means and technical regulations to explore architectural prototypes that may be able to generate some new ways in achieving densification, setting an scenario of public enhancement and optimism in order to accomplish citizenship empowering, historical urban fabric revitalization and intensification of city life.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Click above for larger image

Authorship: Mi5 arquitectos + PKMN [pac-man] architectures
Client: Urban Teruel. Teruel City Council.

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Click above for larger image

Collaborators:
Architectural Technologists: María del Carmen Nombela and Ana Macipe.
Structure Engineering: Mecanismo Diseño y Cálculo de Estructuras S.L.
Systems Engineering: Solventa Ingenieros Consultores S.L.
Geotechnics: Geodeser S.A.
Topography: Julia del Toro

TERUEL-ZILLA! by Mi5 Arquitectos and PKMN Architectures

Contractors: Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (F.C.C.)

Location: Plaza Domingo Gascón. Teruel
Building completion period: 2008-2011
Budget: 7.574.459 euros
Area: 3.600 m2 urbanization + 3005 m2 built area
Main materials: composite steel and concrete structure
Project completion period: September 2007 – Mars 2008
Building completion period: November 2008 – December 2011

  • http://twitter.com/AndyJukes @AndyJukes

    SO MUCH RED!

  • ok45some

    Well, in some years, when there is a budget, they will repaint all in other colors…

    I miss some trees, the buildings at both sides are too near. A simple walk with trees would have been nicer, and less expensive.

  • https://www.facebook.com/petr.stefek Petr Štefek

    I wish that culture center active life, otherwise this square and surrounding local businesses might be in danger.

  • alex

    I would use my local leisure centre more if it had a dinosaur skeleton in it. Was that left in the section by accident?

    • http://www.dezeen.com Marcus Fairs

      Teruel is famous for its dinosaur finds and has one of the world’s best dinosaur museums. The name of the project and the stray sauropod skeleton in the drawing are, presumably, jokey references to this.

      Marcus, Dezeen

  • robertwillb

    look like a nightmare

    • A. Gower

      Agreed. Quite bombastic, which may work when you have the light and the sky, but who wants to be underground in this hellish red with that much structure?
      AG

  • http://twitter.com/scham_aus @scham_aus

    It looks too expensive, too much structure and too much red. Despite those architectural issues, the main problem is that it does not respond to an urban problem, nor a social, it only depicts the huge ego of the architects. Could it be more “green”?