Project: Centro sociocultural de Conxo
Architects: Alfonso Penela
Location: Outer Ring
The Socio-Cultural Centre designed by Alfonso Penela, an architect characterised by his skill at handling experimental formal solutions, is located opposite the impressive baroque façade of the Convent of Conxo, now used as a psychiatric hospital. The obligatory dialogue between the historical building and the small socio-cultural facility was undertaken with boldness, treating the new construction as an abstract, complex and fragmented element.
The complex consists of the cultural centre and a nursery, whose construction has been delayed. The complex is defined by as series of exterior sections, made of stone on the ground floor and glazed on the upper floor, which are folded and turned without any apparent order. They are covered by a series of sloping planes (independent and overlapping), which project beyond the building so that, supported by fine steel-tube columns painted white, generate a portico full of movement alternately hides and reveals, during the itinerary underneath them, the presence of the large convent building. The complex roof is conceived as an umbrella, which seems to be floating, separate from the volume, fragmented and full of volume, of the rooms below.
It is the contrast of continuous contrary terms: heavy-light, uniform-fragmented, dark-light, flat-folded'. that makes the combination of an intentionally contemporary form and a stately monumental complex so pleasant and also so interesting.