Location: Teulada.-Moraira, Alicante, Spain
Type: Cultural – Public
Area: 5,100 m2
Clients: Teulada Town Hall and the Generalitat de Valencia (regional government)
Architect: Francisco Mangado
Project Team: Jose Gastaldo, Birte Lattermann, Idoia Alonso, Borja Fernández, Edurne Pradera and Jaime Sepulcre
Photographs: Roland Halbe
Architect’s Project Description:
Teulada-Moraira is an unusual urban center. Although it is divided into two separate physical units, Teulada and Moraira, these belong to a single administrative entity. Located in Alicante, in a valley that descends from the mountains to the sea, the city takes full advantage of the two realities, earth and sea, which define its environment and serve as visual references.
As part of a new urban development, the Municipal Auditorium rises in Teulada, the higher part of the city. From this point, and over the valley sprinkled with small white buildings, one can see the town of Moraira by the sea. Such a unique location makes the building work as a link between two urban centers that are physically separated but share territory, landscape, and of course culture. This significant location and presence of the new building in the city and the landscape underlies all the essential decisions that have been made with regard to the spatial configuration and formal definition of the proposal. The topographical features and the slopes of the plot have provided the remaining references.
The design adapts to the natural topography of the plot, making the auditoriums descend towards the southwest and putting the main access areas on the northeast and southeast edges of the site. These accesses are organized and oriented to afford the best views of Moraira and the sea, in the process emphasizing the building’s ‘connective’ role. The halls flanking the main auditorium are particularly important, constituting large vantage points over the sea.
In configuration and construction they constitute a large space-facade, deep, geometric, and carefully sculpted like a diamond, always taking into account the position of the Mediterranean sun, which in this orientation would otherwise glare down relentlessly. This side facade formally combines all the project guidelines. In carefully carved pieces it contains the cafeteria and restaurant and an exhibition area at a lower level, all of them with views onto the Mediterranean. Like the ceiling, the floor of this ‘huge opening’ folds here and there to evoke the seashore rocks. At night this facade is a backdrop, a lighthouse shining over the paths that join Teulada to Moraira.