Architect Matilde Peralta del Amo has converted an old market hall in western Spain into a theatre with a huge concrete mouth.
Located in the small town of Navalmoral de la Mata, the L-shaped structure of the old hall accommodates the theatre auditorium within its largest side and a generous reception lobby opposite.
Matilde Peralta del Amo removed an atrium that formerly provided access to storage areas and added a towering concrete entrance with a row of glazed doors.
"This element marks the entrance, links the old and new structures, and makes visible the new activities taking place within," says Peralta del Amo.
New roofing adds additional height to the theatre, plus the architect has constructed concrete walls behind the original facades to protect the interior from ground water and damp.
These concrete interior walls and ceilings are left uncovered, but have been stained to create a flower pattern.
"The rehabilitation preserves the ambience and scenic qualities of the old market, while providing Navalmoral de la Mata and the area with a new theatrical infrastructure," says the architect.
Other small theatres completed in recent years include a bright red auditorium at London's National Theatre and one with a bulky concrete cafe on top.
Here's some more information from Matilde Peralta del Amo:
Transformation of the Municipal Market into a Theatre, Navalmoral de la Mata (Cáceres)
First Prize Design Competition
The old Municipal Market, now the Navalmoral de la Mata Theatre, is a free standing structure located at the edge of the traditional town centre and the area of twentieth century urban growth. The original "L" shaped edifice was formed by 2 sheds and an open atrium providing access to storage areas.
Surrounded by housing blocks too tall for the scale of the narrow streets, the Market, City Hall and Church seem to have escaped from a fairy tale. These newer blocks of recint vintage contrast with the dimunitive scale of the public buildings which are a patent reminder of the agricultural origins of the city.
The rehabilitation preserves the ambience and scenic qualities of the old market, while providing Navalmoral de la Mata and the area with a new theatrical infrastructure. Visually the old market merely changes its roofs; in reality a new building is built within the old-independent in order to avoid humidity and ground water. Made entirely of poured in place concrete, the inner building allows for greater volume and longer structural spans than the old construction; facilitating its new program as a theatre. The old atrium-courtyard is replaced by an access portico, separated from the older construction. This element marks the entrance, links the old and new structures, and makes visible the new activities taking place within. The concrete walls that form the space are bare, bearing the marks of their making. Within the theatre, the walls are covered in flowers; dressed to resolve the technical requirements of the space.
Architect: Matilde Peralta del Amo
Location: Joaquín Alcalde Street
Architect: Matilde Peralta del Amo
Owner: Consejería de Cultura y Turismo. Government of Extremadura
Mechanical Systems Engineering: JG asociados
Structural Engineering: Alfonso Gómez Gaite. GOGAITE
Clerk of the works: José Luís Periañez
Competition date: September 2006
Project date: September 2007
Finish date: May 2011
Built area: 1,500 sqm
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