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Cultural Centre of the Piarists in Lavapiés, Madrid, Spain
Year 2004

    Cultural Centre of the Piarists in Lavapiés, Madrid, Spain

    Competition 1996. 1st price

    It constitutes a truly unique piece of work. An attempt of classification would be hard to accomplish, as it is a solid unit of restored, renovated and newly built parts. The ensemble is based on the church ruins of the ancient Piarist School of San Fernando. Although the church was destroyed during the Civil War, an adjoining piece of land was preserved. Furthermore, the ensemble is also part of a larger action plan that includes the Agustín Lara Square and an underground car park.

    The plan consists of a University Lecture Block and a Library. The first one is set on the empty plot of land and is newly built; whereas the library is located in the ruins area. Therefore, the latter became part of a new space. In this sense, this is a very complex ensemble yet characterised by the unity that provides the material and bare nature of the church ruins. This is the feel that permeates in the expression of the entire building. The ambiguous character of covered-uncovered parts where light gets in a well-thought-out spontaneity emphasizes de condition of ruins. The language includes very diverse quotes that were fitted easily in the plan. However, this was easily achieved as a result of the marked character of unity of the building.

    Author: José Ignacio Linazasoro
    Collaborator: Hugo Sebastián de Erice