alberto campo baeza makes concrete seem weightless in his multi-sport complex in madrid

alberto campo baeza
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alberto campo baeza has designed a multi-sport and teaching pavilion for francisco de vitoria university’s campus in pozuelo, madrid.

alberto campo baeza has designed a multi-sport and teaching pavilion for francisco de vitoria university’s campus in pozuelo, madrid. following a similar theme found in many of baeza’s earlier works, the structure evokes a sense of overall lightness. the building is composed of two rectilinear boxes connected at the lower level by a low-rise structure and roof-top patio. the interior includes a gymnasium, swimming pool, sporting halls, and teaching facilities. this versatility allows the building to accommodate a variety of university functions. despite the building’s strong and captivating presence on the university’s campus, the design takes surrounding architecture strongly into account.

baeza’s design creates a stark relationship between the illuminated sports complex and the concealed teaching spaces — accentuating the contrast between the open and the enclosed. the gymnasium’s northern facade is composed mostly of translucent glass, allowing the natural light to enter the space freely, while the southern facade continues the use of white concrete. the continuation of certain materials across all elements of the complex establishes an overall unity throughout the design, as one facet of the structure gracefully flows into another.

the linear simplicity of the building evokes a sense of formal restraint. many of the design decisions respond to existing campus architecture. a low strip of transparent glass integrated into the southwestern facade highlights the pedestrian link between the complex and the campus’ main square.

the clean, controlled feel of the facade continues into the design of the interior. the grid of steel beams and trusses, supporting the gymnasium’s expansive roof, are painted white to seamlessly integrate the structural systems into the weightlessness of the architecture.

alberto campo baeza makes concrete seem weightless in his multi-sport complex in madrid

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