Turó de la Peira lies on the outskirts of Barcelona, in a dreary part of the city, which is largely unknown to tourists. It is characterised by high-density social housing from the 1960s, with a shortage of public facilities and an unstructured urban landscape of bleak concrete, with no green space.
An architectural competition to rejuvenate the area was won by a proposal that integrated public sports and landscaping into a single structure. Turó de la Peira Sports Centre combines a sports hall and a swimming pool under one roof. The building, designed by architects Anna Noguera and Javier Fernandez, aims to improve the quality of life for residents in conjunction with a local park.
The new facility integrates two large spaces; heated swimming pool on the ground floor and sports court on the upper floor. The building is half-buried, adapting to its topography, by bridging the slope between two main streets on opposite ends of the site. The feature green façade minimises the building‘s impact. The project places special emphasis on the perceptions that the space transmits to the user. Natural lighting, vegetation and the use of steel and wood provide a warm comforting atmosphere – rather than the cold anodyne atmosphere of traditional swimming pools.
The first-floor sports court operates throughout the day exclusively with natural light thanks to its four façades and ceiling skylights. In the semi-buried pool, natural lighting is controlled and intimate.
While the building has a façade made of multi-wall elements three of its elevations have been extended with a galvanized steel frame to create a false wrap around façade. This green gallery surrounds the building creating a bioclimatic space and protects it from the scorching Spanish sun. An access ramp to the sports court runs between the façade and the green mesh where vines grow. It forms an important design component as a natural climate control system for the building.
A large tank located in the basement collects rainwater from the roof for recycling and use for the entire irrigation of the green façade by means of a hydroponic system.
In the garden’s site development, draining strips at the bottom of the slopes collect rainwater to return it to the water table.