Langreo, located in Asturias (Northern Spain), is a place where you would be forgiven for gaining the impression that free space was at a premium. A combination of topography, industry and a dense housing footprint give credance to first impressions. ACXT architects were set the unenviable task of converting an old coalfield into something very different.
The Sports and Leisure Centre attempts to create a new open landscape rather than just a new building. It minimizes the impact of its volume. It plays with imaginary tectonic forces acting on the valley by folding the ground. The building is a composition of folds, of green waves correlated with the different interiors. The aim of the design was to provide a model for the redevelopment of the immediate area. The surface area of the green roofs could be extended to form plazas and gardens in adjacent areas currently occupied by ruined buildings.
The L-shaped area where the building is erected, is a highly constrained space. Its boundaries include a train commuter platform, police headquarters, the Nalón River and the local football field.