Trick to Hide a Large Circular Volume inside the Pentagonal Fortress

Anabata Media | October 6, 2022

To maintain the character of the pentagonal fortress of San Rogue located in the Spanish city of Badajoz, the architect's studio Selgascano offered a fairly bold design scheme. Through the Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium project, a new volume was added to fill an empty space in the middle of the fort.

Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium is part of a revitalization project for the San Rogue fortressBadajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium is part of a revitalization project for the San Rogue fortress.

The space is a former bullfighting arena that has been used since the mid-19th century, which is radial in shape and somewhat enters the ground. Such tread conditions prompted Selgascano to design the Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium as a large circular volume hidden behind the fort's thick walls. This concept is intended to support efforts to preserve the fort as a heritage site of the city and also form a new identity of a historical building that is more relevant to the present.

The conference center has a circular shape that is vaguely visible from the outsideThe conference centre has a circular shape that is vaguely visible from the outside.

The appearance is influenced by the outer sheath of the building made of woven polyester
The appearance is influenced by the outer sheath of the building made of woven polyester.

The Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium expresses itself as a large volume of cylinders hiding behind a polyester outer sheath. The mass of its buildings created a new hall consisting of two levels, with the exterior space surrounding it as a break from the outside world. To perfect the hiding of the hall, Selagascano only provided one opening or entrance to get to the inside. The opening was in the form of a long canopy with continuous steps to the underground lobby of the auditorium.

The entrance is under a long canopy located on the outer side of the buildingThe entrance is under a long canopy located on the outer side of the building.

Interior lobby of Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium
Interior lobby of Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium.

From the underground lobby, visitors can enter the main hall, which is lined with bright polycarbonate panels, just like the outer shell. The uniqueness that radiates from this hall is the context of the ceiling made of wood and polycarbonate slats that form a wavy pattern. Such a design is not only iconic but can functionally maximize the acquisition of sunlight into the space. At the very top, there is a large hole that plays a role in natural lighting while supporting the structure of the ceiling.

The main hall of the Badajoz Conference Centre and AuditoriumThe main hall of the Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium.

The top of the building is built with a steel frame with a large opening for natural lightingThe top of the building is built with a steel frame with a large opening for natural lighting.

Overall, the Badajoz Conference Centre and Auditorium designed by Selgascano is a new volume that proves suitable for maintaining and strengthening the character of the San Rogue fortress. Although, in a sometimes vague expression, the design can still bring the memory of the site's history.

Lower floor planLower floor plan.

Upper floor planUpper floor plan.

SectionsSections.

 

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