Rehabilitation of Former Prison of Palencia as Cultural Civic Center / Exit Architects
Remodelling this "neomudéjar" style prison must have been a tough enterprise. Its grey walls and shadowy passageways have turned in a widely open building. "The former Palencia Provincial Prison complex was created at the end of the XIX century", writes Victoria King for Arch Daily, "built with brick bearing walls following the “neomudéjar” style, and composed mainly of four two-storey wings and some other with one storey. 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".
As architects Ángel Sevillano and José Mª Tabuyo, from Exit Architects, say: "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. 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".
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.
"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the light in the building we had to remove the old covered with tiles which were in very poor condition, and have been replaced by others of zinc that open large skylights which introduce light into the open halls of the Center", state the architects.